In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): Talking to Your Doctor
You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is important that you talk with your doctor about your personal risks and benefits associated with in vitro fertilization (IVF). By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can have an active role in your care.
General Tips for Gathering Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don’t forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Healthcare Provider
About Infertility Treatment Options
About the Decision to Undergo IVF
About the IVF Procedure
About Other Reproductive Procedures
What is my best option for treating
- Should I try fertility medications or medical procedures before in vitro fertilization (IVF)?
What medications are available to me to treat infertility?
- What are the benefits and side effects of these medications?
- Will these medications interact with other medications, over-the-counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements I am taking for other conditions?
What procedures or surgeries may help treat my infertility?
- What are the benefits and side effects of these procedures?
- Will my insurance cover the costs?
- What are the IVF success rates at your clinic?
- Based on my age, infertility diagnosis, and other personal factors, what success rates can I expect?
- Can I use my own eggs?
- Can I carry the pregnancy to term myself or will I need a surrogate mother?
- What are my risks associated with IVF?
- What medications will I be required to take during my IVF cycle?
Will I take progesterone suppositories or injections?
- If I take progesterone injections, how should they be administered?
- When will I start progesterone supplementation?
- How will I be monitored during ovulation induction (such as ultrasound, blood tests)?
- What type of anesthesia will be used in the egg retrieval?
- Where will the egg retrieval and embryo transfer take place?
- How many days after egg retrieval will the embryo transfer occur?
- How many embryos will likely be transferred?
- Should I freeze any unused embryos after the transfer?
- How long will I stay in the clinic after the transfer, and will I be required to be on bedrest?
- When will I take a pregnancy test?
- Am I a candidate for other assisted reproductive procedures, such as gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) or zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT)?
- Am I a candidate for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)?
- What are the benefits and risks of these procedures?
- How will these procedures affect my chances of success?
IVF/ART. National Infertility Association website. Available at:
. Accessed October 23, 2012.
Frequently asked questions about infertility. American Society for Reproductive Medicine website. Available at:
. Accessed September 2, 2005.
In vitro fertilization: IVF. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at:
. Updated May 2007. Accessed November 18, 2010.