5 Questions to ask your doctor

The results of an IVF cycle are to a large degree based upon a thorough evaluation of the couple, and there are a number of things your doctor can do before you begin to optimize success rates, says Dr. Leonardo Garza, a Board-Certified physician, specializing in Fertility Services and Obstetrics and Gynecology. The problem is, not every doctor or fertility center completes thorough evaluations. So be sure to ask your doctor these five questions before starting any IVF cycle:

  1. Is my uterus ready? Your uterine cavity should be evaluated with an ultrasound, X-ray, or hysteroscopy to look for fibroids, scar tissue, or polyps, which can all act like an IUD in the uterus and prevent implantation.
  2. Are my tubes clear? Fluid in your fallopian tubes reduces IVF success rates by about 50 percent, says Dr. Garza. If fluid is present, it’s necessary to either block the tubes or remove them prior to starting IVF.
  3. Do I have enough eggs? A good ovarian reserve is key for IVF success. Dr. Garza says two tests can help doctors estimate how many eggs you will get: Blood tests given on the second or third day of your cycle can analyze the level of follicle stimulating hormone, and an ultrasound can determine an actual follicle count.
  4. Is my husband’s sperm adequate? Dr. Garza recommends having a sperm analysis done in a lab that also does IVF. That way, the quality of the sperm can be compared with what is needed for IVF success.
  5. Are any of my health habits going to affect our chances of success? Your doctor should evaluate the medications, supplements, and herbs you may be taking, along with any alcohol or recreational drug use.