What should I do if my primary physician leaves or retires from the clinic?
Patients will continue to be seen by Clinic Physicians.

How quickly can we begin an IVF cycle?
The average time is less than 4 months, once confirmation or a diagnosis of infertility has been made. This time frame may vary slightly due to patient volumes and scheduled lab closures for quality assurance.

Will drug plans cover the costs for the medications?
Some extended health plans do cover fertility medications. Check with your insurance companies about the DIN (drug identification number).

Can we make any lifestyle changes prior to infertility treatment?
It is strongly recommended that both partners quit smoking as smoking is known to affect both sperm and egg quality and therefore ability to fertilize. It is also recommended that you maintain a healthy weight and body mass index. Reducing stress will improve your sense of well being and help you to cope with your difficulties in conceiving. Avoid excess caffeine, or other stimulants and abstain from alcohol consumption and recreational drug use. Please review current medications.

Can I take herbs during an infertility treatment?
There are no studies to assess how herbal supplements may influence outcomes of infertility treatments; therefore it is recommended you stop all herbal supplements. Vitamins are OK to take. Persons attempting pregnancy should take a folic acid supplement.

Can I exercise during treatment?
Regular, moderate exercise is beneficial to your overall health and to reduce stress. Strenuous physical activity, especially any new activity is not advised during treatment.

Can we have sex during treatment?
If you are having a test where pregnancy could be negatively affected, such as an HSG, your physician may recommend not having sex or using condoms to prevent pregnancy if you do. During IVF treatment, once stimulation injections start, women may find intercourse uncomfortable as their ovaries can get quite enlarged. If you are pregnant, it is OK to resume sex unless you have any cramping or spotting. Often times, patients feel more comfortable with resuming sex after they have had their first early obstetrical ultrasound, around 6 – 8 weeks gestation.

Is miscarriage more common after IVF than normal conception?
There are no significant differences in miscarriage rates between pregnancy achieved through IVF and conceiving naturally. The risk of miscarriage increases significantly with advancing maternal age, whether conceived naturally or through IVF.

What side effects can be expected on the IVF medication?
As the ovaries are stimulated, they become enlarged and there may be some pelvic and abdominal bloating. Some women also experience minor mood changes, headaches or nausea, although these are uncommon.

What do I do if my cycle is unsuccessful?
If your cycle is unsuccessful a return appointment with your Primary Care Physician will be arranged through the nurses to review your cycle, make any changes and discuss other options.

Is there a difference in the success rates between fresh or frozen embryos?
Yes, but with the development of new embryo freezing techniques (Vitrification) pregnancy rates following frozen embryo transfer are becoming almost equal to that of a fresh embryo transfer.

How long can embryos be frozen?
As long as they are maintained in liquid nitrogen they can be frozen indefinitely.

How long do I need to rest after embryo transfer?
After your embryo transfer you will be able to void, empty your bladder and leave the clinic within a few minutes. In the first 24 hours you should rest and limit strenous activity, but do not require strict bed rest. Implantation of the embryo occurs within the first 3 – 4 days after transfer. Maintaining light activities, for the first week, is recommended.

How common are multiple pregnancies with IVF?
Multiple pregnancies occur in about 20% of IVF cycles. In women under 37 years of age only 1 embryo is recommended for transfer, in women who are older, up to 3 embryos could be transferred. These guidelines limit the risk of high order multiple pregnancy.

Is artificial insemination painful?
Occasionally cramping can be felt during this procedure, but generally it is not painful.

Is donor sperm safe?
Yes. The donor sperm has to meet rigorous screening criteria as set forth by Health Canada.

Is Acupuncture during treatment safe?
Yes. There is evidence that it does no harm during treatment cycles, however, there is no evidence that it increases pregnancy rates in IVF treatment either.

Is it okay to use a tampon during treatment?
Not recommended.

Is it normal to have some spotting while on the Birth Control Pill for H/S and IVF treatments?
Yes, it is quite common, however you need to stay on your birth control pill as it is important in preparing your ovaries for your treatment cycle.

Can I drink herbal tea while undergoing treatment?
It is recommended that caffeine intake be decreased during treatments. Decaffeinated herbal teas are fine.

Do I need to take time off from work during IVF treatment?
Aside from the day of egg retrieval, it is safe to continue working. Once on stimulation medications avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity. If complications arise, your Heartland team may advise you to take a medical leave from work.

How often will I need to be at the clinic once my cycle starts?
Please be available to the clinic for about 3 weeks. During this time you will need to be seen for a screening ultrasound and blood work at the beginning of your cycle to determine if things are suitable to proceed. These are done during early morning appointments, between 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. Repeat ultrasounds and blood tests will occur after one week of medication stimulation and then every 48 hours thereafter until egg retrieval date is confirmed and embryo transfer is arranged.

Can I get my hair/nails done while undergoing IVF or while pregnant?
Not recommended. Fumes may cause nausea.

Are immunizations/flu shot safe when attempting pregnancy?
The flu shot is safe. Immunizations for rubella require a 1 month wait before proceeding with attempting pregnancy.

Can I use hot tubs/hot yoga/steam room/steam bath?
It is not recommended to increase your core body temperature for prolonged periods of time for females or males when attempting pregnancy.