Fertility & IVF FAQs

When should a couple trying to conceive consult a fertility specialist?

Generally, women younger than 35 years of age should seek professional advice after 12 months of trying to conceive on their own. Women over 35 may see a fertility specialist after 6 months of trying. For women over 40, it is advisable to see a specialist as soon as they decide to get pregnant. However, these guidelines may not apply if there is a medical condition that needs immediate attention. For example, it would not be advisable for a 26-year-old woman with a condition such as polycystic ovaries (PCOS) or irregular menstrual cycle to wait a year to get expert opinion.

How does age affect fertility?

Advancing age affects fertility in both men and women. Every woman is born with 1-2 million eggs in her ovaries. From the onset of puberty, she loses about a thousand eggs each month. By the mid-thirties, the number of viable eggs left in her ovaries has declined considerably, and the quality of eggs also declines with advancing age. Similarly, aging affects the volume and quality of sperm in men. Add to this the modern lifestyle and environmental factors which affect fertility in both sexes, making spontaneous conception difficult for even younger couples.

Fortunately, advances in assisted reproductive technology (ART) have made it possible to treat a range of complex infertility conditions that were once considered untreatable. Fertility preservation through egg freezing and sperm freezing helps modern day couples to stop the biological clock.

Does lifestyle impact fertility?

There is plenty of research supporting the negative effects of poor lifestyle on fertility in both men and women. For example, smoking is known to affect sperm production in men and ovulation in women. Women who smoke also face an increased risk of miscarriage and premature labour. Excess body weight, alcohol/substance abuse, chronic stress, exposure to certain toxins — all are known to hamper fertility.

The good news: while medical intervention is required to counter the biological and medical causes of infertility, you can negate the adverse effect of lifestyle factors by making healthy choices every day.

Learn more: Did I cause my infertility?

How can I maximise my chances of getting pregnant before seeing a specialist?

If you have a regular menstrual cycle, recording your cycle — the number of days between each period and the length of the period — can help you determine your fertile days.

Your ovaries release a single mature egg into a fallopian tube each month. This is known as ovulation which generally occurs 14 days prior to your next menstrual period. Therefore, in a 28-day cycle, ovulation would occur on the 14th day of your menstrual period (consider day 1 of your period as the first day of your cycle). Similarly, in a 32-day cycle, ovulation would occur on the 18th day (32—14) of your period. By recording your menstrual cycle for a few months, you will be able to predict your most fertile days and plan intercourse accordingly to maximise the chances of sperm from your partner meeting the egg. Remember that your egg will live only for 24 hours after its release from the ovary, while sperm can survive for 5 days in the cervical fluid. Therefore your goal must be to have frequent intercourse during your ‘fertile window’, starting 5 days prior to the likely ovulation date to up to 3 days after ovulation.

Women who have an irregular menstrual cycle or miss periods every now and then may find it difficult to predict ovulation accurately and will benefit from seeing a Gynaecologist.

How will a fertility specialist determine what’s causing my infertility?

The first consultation with your fertility specialist involves a thorough evaluation of both partners through your detailed medical history along with questions about your menstrual cycle, reproductive history (past pregnancies, fertility treatment, etc.), and lifestyle. This is generally followed by a physical examination.

To reach a diagnosis, your doctor will schedule fertility testing for one or both partners. You can learn more about fertility testing here. Based on the test results, your doctor will discuss the treatment options available to you.

How long does an IVF cycle take?

From ovulation induction to embryo transfer, a typical IVF cycle generally takes between 4 and 6 weeks. Learn more about IVF treatment

Why do I need ovulation induction?

Your ovaries release a single egg each month. Ovulation induction or ovarian stimulation is the first phase of an IVF cycle where your doctor stimulates your ovaries to grow several eggs. This is important to maximize the success of your fertility treatment. Generally, between 5 and 15 eggs are retrieved, however the number varies for each patient. Since not all of the retrieved eggs are viable for use in a cycle, having several eggs enables your doctor to utilize the best quality eggs for IVF. Learn more about ovulation induction.

Is egg retrieval painful?

Egg retrieval is a simple procedure to collect mature eggs from a woman’s ovaries for an IVF or ICSI cycle. It is done under anaesthesia and takes about 25 to 30 minutes. You will not feel anything during the procedure but may experience some pain or discomfort afterwards, for which your doctor will prescribe medication.

Is it advisable to abstain from sex during IVF treatment?

Some women find it uncomfortable to have sexual intercourse while they are on fertility medication. Additionally, unprotected intercourse on certain days during fertility treatment may put you at risk of multiple pregnancies. Your fertility specialist will guide you and your partner regarding the precautions to be taken during treatment.

Is embryo transfer painful?

Embryo transfer is a pain-free procedure which takes between 5 and 10 minutes and does not require anaesthesia or recovery time. You may feel minor discomfort as your doctor will use a speculum to view the cervix, however it subsides quickly.

How many embryos are transferred during an IVF cycle?

To avoid the risk of multiple pregnancies, Gaudium IVF prefers Single Embryo Transfer (SET) for most patients. In special circumstances, more than one embryo is transferred. The decision is taken after a detailed discussion with the patient. Several factors — your medical history, fertility history (past implantation failure, miscarriage, etc.) and your age — need to be considered when making this crucial decision.

I have had a failed IVF cycle. How long do I have to wait for a new cycle?

Doctors at Gaudium IVF recommend waiting at least 4 weeks before considering a fresh IVF cycle. If you have had a failed cycle elsewhere, please bring all your medical records when you visit Gaudium IVF for a consultation. You may also seek a Free Second Opinion from our specialists. Learn more about our unmatched success in previously failed IVF.

What is the typical profile of a surrogate at Gaudium IVF?

Gaudium IVF works with a pool of healthy surrogates who have had previous successful child birth(s) and are generally between 25 and 35 years of age. Each surrogate goes through background verification as well as medical and psychological screening before being recruited for a surrogacy cycle at Gaudium.

How much interaction do the intended parents and surrogate have?

Both parties mutually decide on the level of interaction they wish to have through the pregnancy. Some intended parents like to be close touch with the surrogate and attend every clinic visit. Some prefer receiving updates through email or phone calls and keep personal interaction to a minimum. It is a matter of personal choice on both sides.

What is not included in the Surrogacy program at Gaudium IVF?

Airport transfers, air fare and accommodation, airport and airline taxes and fees, visa fee, passport fee are not included in the Surrogacy package.

Additional costs that may arise during the course of IVF-Surrogacy, for instance, blastocyst transfer, male infertility treatment, sperm retrieval surgery (PESA, TESA, TESE) — are not included in the cost of Surrogacy.

However, assistance with airport transfer and hotel accommodation is available on request. Learn more: International Patient Assistance at Gaudium IVF.

In case of donor egg IVF, how is the egg donor selected?

Gaudium IVF makes the profiles of the pre-screened egg donors available to the intended parents. We have an anonymous egg donation program, thus, the recipient couple does not meet the egg donor. Learn more about Donor Egg IVF at Gaudium IVF.

How many embryos are transferred in a surrogacy cycle?

Your fertility specialist determines the number of embryos for transfer on a case-to-case basis with the intent to maximize chances of pregnancy.

How long does a surrogacy cycle take from start to finish?

The process of surrogacy, from ovulation induction to embryo transfer, takes about 3-4 weeks, after which you may return home and wait for confirmation of pregnancy about two weeks from embryo transfer.

How can we contact the surrogate during the pregnancy?

Gaudium IVF has dedicated staff to keep you up-to-date about the progress of the pregnancy and to coordinate communication with the surrogate whenever requested.

For further queries regarding Surrogacy and infertility treatments at Gaudium IVF, please call + 91 8527858585 or write to us at info@gaudiumivfcentre.com.