A Beginner’s Guide to IVF: 10 Most Common Questions Answered

Many people wonder what IVF questions to ask medical experts and what to know about beforehand. Understand all about IVF and what it entails here.

By Aditi
22 Aug 2022

According to the fifth round of the National Family Health Survey, the total fertility rate in India has been progressively declining and has reduced from 2.2 in 2015-16 to 2.0 in 2019-21. Approximately 15 per cent of couples globally struggle with infertility problems, as stated by the National Health Portal, and it can lead to people looking for alternatives for family planning.


In-vitro fertilisation or IVF is used for couples or individuals who want to conceive a child but cannot do so naturally. As society progresses and the stigmatisation around infertility is slowly being done away with, IVF has seen a surge in popularity in India, particularly in metropolitan cities. If you’re considering family planning or are dealing with fertility issues, understand what IVF is and what to expect.


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Most Important IVF Question to Ask

Before you get started with IVF or approach a medical expert for information on the process, you need to know the basics of the procedure.


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1. What is IVF, and How Is It Done?

In-vitro fertilisation, according to Planned Parenthood (USA), aids in fertilisation, embryo development, and implantation so that an individual can get pregnant. It is a type of assisted reproductive technology. It utilises a combination of medication and surgical procedures to successfully put sperm into an egg which leads to fertilisation. The fertilised egg is then implanted in the uterus.


The process can vary depending on the viability of the egg and sperm. Generally, medication is taken first to make the eggs mature and become ready for fertilisation. A medical expert will then extract the eggs from your body and mix them with sperm in a medical lab. Depending on the number of eggs that fertilise, one or more egg(s) are inserted into the uterus. If any of the embryos implant in the lining of the uterus, pregnancy occurs.


Other IVF Questions to Ask

2. What is The Most Common Reason for IVF?

As stated by Penn Medicine (USA), IVF is the most common fertility treatment in specific situations:

  • When the fallopian tubes are absent or severely damaged
  • Male-factor infertility that doesn’t have a conclusive reason
  • Aging in women


However, more medical practitioners today are using IVF as the first round of treatment when it comes to any type of infertility. It means that regardless of whether infertility is caused due to a biological or environmental factor, IVF will be suggested as the first solution.


3. What Are The 3 Types of IVF

The Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (UK) states that three types of IVF don’t have as many medications involved as the traditional IVF process, which are:

  • Natural cycle IVF: Requires no fertility drugs at all. The egg released during the monthly cycle is taken and mixed with sperm. It can take less time than the standard IVF as you don’t have to wait for the medication to start working on your body.
  • Mild stimulation IVF: Requires a lower dose of fertility drugs over a short time period. It can help avoid the side effects of fertility drugs and shorten the time compared to standard IVF.
  • In-vitro maturation: Eggs are removed from your body while still immature and are matured in a medical lab. No hormones need to be taken for this process. This technique is only used in cases of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (for male infertility)


4. What Are The 5 Stages of IVF?

The five stages of IVF, as explained by Piedmont Healthcare (USA), are:

  • Medication
  • Harvesting the eggs
  • Fertilisation
  • Embryo culture
  • Embryo transfer


5. How Long Does IVF Take to Get Pregnant?

According to Planned Parenthood, IVF is a process that can take several months to complete, and it might not work on the first try. You might require more than one round of IVF to get pregnant, so the period IVF will take to get you pregnant can vary.


How Successful Is IVF On First Try?

According to USC Fertility, the chance of pregnancy from IVF is the same for the first three to four attempts. However, patients may see successful pregnancies even in their fifth or sixth attempt. For individuals who did up to six rounds of IVF, the chances of success were generally favourable. 86 per cent of women under 35 and 42 per cent of women over 40 ended up getting pregnant as a result of IVF.


6. Can You Choose Gender With IVF?

In India, it is illegal to use any technology to determine or select the gender of an unborn baby. So, it is not possible to choose gender with IVF in India.


7. What is The Best Age for IVF?

A 2014 study published in Singapore Medical Journal shows that individuals under 30 years old had the best IVF outcomes. Age-related decline in fertility begins after 30 years, and IVF can also become less successful after your 30s. Consulting a doctor about the best age to start your IVF journey would be ideal for specific information.


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8. What Are The Risks With IVF?

According to NHS (UK), the following are risks and side effects associated with IVF:

  • Multiple births: It can occur when more than one embryo is placed inside the uterus and successfully implants. There is an increased chance of having twins or triplets. Multiple births can increase the risk of miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, anaemia, and pregnancy-related high blood pressure
  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome: A rare complication as a result of IVF. It can happen when an individual is too sensitive to fertility medication and hormones. Too many eggs develop in the ovaries, making it quite painful. Shortness of breath and feeling faint are common symptoms.
  • Ectopic pregnancy: It is when the embryo implants in a fallopian tube instead of the womb. Can cause pain, vaginal bleeding, and discharge.
  • Congenital disabilities: For individuals who opt for IVF at an older age, the chance of miscarriages and congenital disabilities is higher than average.


Fertility medication can also have various side effects, including:

  • Hot flushes
  • Mood swings (feeling irritable and upset)
  • Headaches
  • Restlessness


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9. How Do I Prepare My Body for IVF?

Apollo Fertility recommends certain foods that can enhance IVF success, including:

  • Prenatal multivitamins
  • Organic Spirulina
  • Cod liver oil


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10. What Weight is Good for IVF?

According to IVF Australia, a women’s weight can affect fertility. Using BMI is an accurate way to gauge whether your body is ready for pregnancy or not. A healthy BMI between 18.5 to 24.9 is ideal for young and middle-aged adults. BMI greater than 25 can end up causing significant problems during pregnancy, and medical consultation is recommended to ensure that your pregnancy after IVF goes smoothly.


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If you’re researching IVF, you can find that these IVF questions to ask are quite common. Hopefully, you get all the information you need from here and it helps you make an informed choice!






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