The IVF Process
At the heart of the Legends are Born Everyday Foundation is family. Founders, Matt and Rachel, wanted to expand their family, but needed IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatments to do so. If you want to have a baby, but don’t know how or when to look into fertility options, you’re not alone. A new report estimates that 1 in 6 adults experience infertility at some point.
IVF can be an overwhelming, expensive, and emotional process, so here’s a simplified overview of how and when to start looking into IVF, and what that journey may look like for you.
When to Look into IVF
If you have not gotten pregnant after one year of regular intercourse without birth control, it’s time to consider an infertility evaluation. If you’re over age 35, that timeframe shortens to six months of trying without becoming pregnant.
In most cases, your ob-gyn will do an initial infertility evaluation, and then they can refer you to a fertility specialist for additional testing. “Fertility Out Loud” is a helpful, accessible website that can help you find a specialist near you and has other easy-to-read and -understand information.
The First Fertility Appointments
At your first appointment with a fertility specialist, you’ll document and discuss you and your partner’s detailed medical histories. You can meet your fertility doctor, get answers to questions, and arrange for fertility testing.
Fertility testing happens in the first few days of your menstrual cycle. You and your partner will get several blood tests, there may be an ultrasound and uterine evaluation, and a semen analysis. It can be tricky to schedule this appointment because it has to be timed correctly with your cycle, so be aware that this could push your timeline farther out.
After testing, you’ll return to the office to develop a fertility plan and learn about costs. Some options for fertility treatments include fertility drugs like Clomid that stimulate the ovaries and encourage regular ovulation. There’s intrauterine insemination (IUI) that places sperm directly in the uterus, and in vitro fertilization (IVF) that places a fertilized egg in the uterus.
The costs of these treatments vary from hundreds of dollars up to around $25,000. Some treatments (or parts of treatments) are covered by insurance and that may help decide what your next steps are.
If you do undergo IVF treatments, the first steps will be to monitor ovarian follicles and to order hormonal medications. Egg retrieval happens under sedation. The clinic will have collected a sperm sample from your partner and they will fertilize your eggs.
After three to six days, doctors will determine how many embryos are healthy enough for an embryo transfer back into your uterus. Usually, patients are not sedated for this procedure. After the transfer, you may be given a progesterone supplement to encourage embryos to implant.
About two weeks after the embryo transfer, you’ll get a pregnancy test via blood draw in the office, and then possibly another test in another two days. After that, a successful pregnancy will look like any other typical pregnancy!
Legends Are Born Everyday
It’s important to remember that the IVF success rate is just over 50% for women under age 35, and that percentage goes down with every year of age. Our dream is that Matt and Rachel’s story can provide hope to prospective parents, and that through the Legends Are Born Everyday IVF Foundation, donations from people like you and contributions from companies like BinkyBro can provide funding for parents who need IVF treatments to grow their family.
We believe that kids are legendary and that everyone deserves the chance to have a baby.