Dr César Díaz-Garcia
Medical Director, IVI London UK
Like a well-planned trip, any fertility journey should start by pulling together any useful information that could help you to make decisions during the process.
Let’s face it: undergoing fertility treatment is stressful. Fluent communication with your treating doctor is a key step of the process. Individualised treatment based on your specific case is the best standard of care to offer to patients, as well as space and time for discussion where you can be involved in the decision-making process.
Like a well-planned trip, any fertility journey should start by pulling together any useful information that could help you to make decisions during the process. Here you have some tips that could make your fertility journey smoother.
The very basics to help you conceive
A healthy lifestyle, including a balanced and varied diet with very moderate to no alcohol consumption and frequent exercising, is highly recommendable. It is a fact that there is a link between obesity and poorer reproductive outcomes. Likewise, smoking and other habits that may impact your fertility should be abandoned, given the impact they can have on both egg and sperm quality.
When you might need an even more tailored approach
If you have already had several failed IVF attempts, you have a family history of a serious genetic condition or you are over a certain age, your consultant may recommend genetic testing to help provide you with the best chance of a successful pregnancy and healthy child.
Preimplantation genetic testing for chromosomal abnormalities (PGT-A) involves the biopsy of embryos during IVF to assess for chromosomal abnormalities before selection for transfer. Although some argue this treatment to be invasive, we have seen survival rates of over 96.7%.
If you have a euploid (normal) embryo to be transferred, your chances of getting pregnant are more than 70% every time you put an embryo back, regardless of your age. Don’t be confused: PGT-A will not increase your chances of getting pregnant per cycle, but it will decrease your chances of having a miscarriage or serious embryo chromosomal abnormality.
Assisted reproduction and twin pregnancies
Did you know that the most important cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity in the UK is prematurity? Did you know that the main cause of prematurity is multiple pregnancies? UK guidelines advise that a single embryo should be transferred whenever possible but, despite this, some clinics still put back more – sometimes because the patient wrongly thinks it improves their chances. Studies have shown that cumulative pregnancy rates are not different when compared to single embryo transfer versus double embryo transfer.