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35 Most-Asked Questions About Fertility

2022-04-28T16:56:45-06:00April 28th, 2022|

With so much information vying for our attention every day, it’s sometimes hard to separate fact from fiction. CCRM Fertility is proud to serve as a resource offering the most accurate and up-to-date information as possible so people can make the best decisions for their family.

Timed with CCRM Fertility’s 35th anniversary, here’s a look at the 35 most-asked questions about fertility, which run the gamut from family planning, COVID-19 and fertility treatment 101 to questions related to BIPOC and male factor infertility.

Fertility Treatment 101

  1. What are common causes of infertility?
    • Today, 1 in 8 U.S. couples experiences fertility problems at some point in their lives. Six common causes of infertility include: (CCRM Fertility)
      1. Age
      2. Ovulation Disorders (e.g. PCOS)
      3. Tubal Factors (e.g. endometriosis)
      4. Uterine fibroids
      5. History of STIs
      6. Male Factor Infertility (e.g. varicocele, ejaculations disorders)
  1. When should I see a fertility specialist?
    • Those under 35 with regular cycles who haven’t become pregnant after 1 year, or those 35+ with regular cycles who haven’t become pregnant after 6 months, should meet with a reproductive endocrinologist. Women who aren’t ovulating, haven’t experienced regular menstrual cycles and/or those who have had multiple pregnancy losses should seek fertility care as soon as possible. (CCRM Fertility)
  1. What questions should I ask my fertility doctor?
    • Based on our history and previous testing, what issues do you think we have? What additional testing would you recommend to help with diagnosis?
    • How does age affect my fertility and chances for a healthy pregnancy? Do I have any lifestyle or medical issues that should be evaluated to increase my chances for a healthy pregnancy?
    • How long will it take to get my workup/tests completed and start some form of treatment?
    • Who is the best person to contact with questions about next steps or treatment?
    • What is our diagnosis?
    • Which treatment options do you recommend?
    • How long should we try this treatment and what other options are available if that treatment doesn’t work?
    • What does this treatment entail and what are the potential side effects?
    • When can we start treatment and what preparations need to be made? (CCRM Fertility)
  1. What fertility treatment is right for me?
    • Treatment at CCRM Fertility is highly individualized based on patients’ specific needs. A personalized plan will be developed alongside a CCRM Fertility doctor who will consider a variety of factors, including age, partner’s age, cause of infertility, prior history of miscarriages, prior fertility treatments, and fertility treatment goals. (CCRM Fertility)
  1. What should I do to prepare my body for fertility treatments?
    • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Start taking prenatal vitamins. Maintain a healthy weight. Stop smoking, drinking alcohol and taking recreational drugs. Reduce or eliminate caffeine altogether. Decrease stress. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to a psychological counselor for support, if needed. (CCRM Fertility)
  1. What is intrauterine insemination (IUI)?
    • IUI involves preparing sperm in a special solution and placing a small concentration of rapidly moving sperm directly into the uterus via a catheter when a woman is most fertile. (CCRM Fertility)
  1. What is in vitro fertilization (IVF)?
    • During IVF, eggs are surgically removed from the ovary and mixed with sperm outside the body in a petri dish. The eggs are examined by an embryologist to see if fertilization has occurred. On day 5-7, the blastocyst embryo is then transferred to the woman’s uterus. (CCRM Fertility)
  1. Is IVF painful?
    • IVF involves taking injectable medications, which may cause some discomfort. Icing the area for a few minutes prior to injection can be helpful to minimize pain. As the ovaries respond to the medications to grow multiple follicles, some discomfort and bloating may be felt.
    • Patients are sedated during the egg retrieval, so the procedure isn’t painful. However, it is not uncommon to have some soreness, and intermittent abdominal bloating and cramping for about a week after the egg retrieval. The embryo transfer, similar to a pap smear, is virtually pain-free in most cases. (CCRM Fertility)
  1. Is IVF expensive?
    • IVF costs vary depending on the clinic and if additional procedures are needed, such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or pre-implantation genetic testing of embryos. The average cost for an IVF cycle at CCRM Fertility using frozen eggs is $12,880, with additional fees for anesthesia, testing, medications, and storage.
    • Before starting treatment, you should contact your employer to learn about your fertility health benefits. Fertility testing necessary to begin IVF is often covered, but IVF treatment may not be covered. CCRM Fertility works with many financing partners and offers IVF Refund and Multi-Cycle programs to help make the process more affordable. (CCRM Fertility)
  1. How successful Is IVF?
    • IVF success depends on many factors, including age and potential health conditions that may i