Why Us Going Through the Emotions

of Being Infertile 25

Reacting to Your Infertility Diagnosis 26

Dealing with shame and guilt 26

Counting your losses 27

But everyone else can have a baby! 27

How she may feel 28

How he may feel 28

Avoiding the blame game 29

Dealing with Other People's Reactions 29

Talking about infertility: How, and to whom? 29

Putting up with nosy family and friends 30

Trying for a second (or third) baby 30

Starting over with a new partner 30

Working As a Team 31

Being on the same page 31

Treating yourself and each other kindly 32

Having sex on demand; where did the fun go? 32

Finding Support 32

Talking things over with a buddy 33

Discovering help online 33

Joining a support group 34

Calling in the professionals 34

Chapter 3: Setting the Perfect Scene 35

Improving Your Chances of IVF Success 35

Stopping smoking 36

Counting your drinks 36

Cutting back on caffeine 37

Reducing stress 37

Watching your weight 38

Eating well 39

Taking folic acid 41

Getting on your bike 41

Weighing up complementary therapies 41

Beating the Clock: Age Counts, So Get Started! 42

Age and fertility 43

Age and IVF success 43

Choosing an IVF Clinic 44

Checking out your local clinics 45

Narrowing down your choices 45

Covering the Costs of Treatment 47

Medicare cover 47

Private health insurance 48

Making Treatment Work with Work 48

Part 11: All You Need to Know About 1VF 51

Chapter 4: The Law and the Team 53

Legally Speaking: Understanding How IVF Services

Are Regulated 53

Accessing IVF treatment 54

Using donor material 56

Working With Your IVF Team 57

Introducing the team members 57

Getting the most out of your team 60

Fixing a communication breakdown 62

Chapter 5: Taking IVF One Step at a Time 65

Coming to Grips with All the IVF Acronyms and

What They Mean 65

Getting Started: Preliminary Tests and Paperwork 67

Completing some basic medical tests 67

Undergoing counselling 68

Consenting to treatment 69

Finding out exactly what happens in an IVF cycle 69

Suffering information overload 70

Producing Mature Eggs with Fertility Drugs 70

Stimulating your ovaries 71

Maturing the eggs 73

Understanding what can go wrong with stimulation 74

Collecting the Eggs 74

Undergoing the egg collection procedure 75

Recovering from the egg collection procedure 76

Getting fewer eggs than expected 76

Obtaining the Sperm 77

Producing a sperm sample 77

Freezing sperm in advance 78

Retrieving sperm surgically 78

Finding solutions to a poor sperm sample 79

Giving Nature a Hand 79

Performing magic in the lab 80

Facing up to what can go wrong 80

Transferring the Embryos 81

Making the transfer 82

Looking after yourself post-embryo transfer 83

Enduring the Longest Wait 83

Looking for signs 84

Staying sane 84

Understanding what can go wrong after embryo transfer 85

Arriving at D-day: Your Pregnancy Test 85

A positive pregnancy test 86

A negative pregnancy test 86

An equivocal pregnancy test 86

Having the Bonus of Frozen Embryos 87

Chapter 6: Taking Drugs, Drugs and More Drugs 91

Understanding What Drugs Are Used, and Why 91

The contraceptive pill (strange, but true) 92

Follicle-stimulating hormone 92

Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone analogues 93

Human chorionic gonadotrophin 94

Progesterone 95

Clomiphene citrate 95

Estradiol valerate 96

Introducing the Common Stimulation Protocols 96

Long protocol 97

Short protocol 97

Flare protocol 97

Clomiphene citrate 98

Going natural 98

Perfecting Your Stimulation Protocol 98

Deciding on your dosage of FSH 99

Measuring your response to FSH 100

Chapter 7: Taking a Peek Inside the Lab 103

Getting Ready for You 103

Labelling Dishes (And Avoiding Mix-Ups) 104

Preparing Your Eggs and Sperm 105

Checking your eggs 105

Prepping your sperm 106

Developing the Embryos 107

One egg + thousands of sperm = IVF 107

Optimising the environment 108

Checking on progress 109

Leaving the incubator 111

Deciding which embryo to transfer 111

Putting Your Embryos on Ice 112

Freezing your embryos 113

Thawing your embryos 113

Chapter 8: Assessing the Odds of Your Dream Coming True 115

Getting Over All the Hurdles: What Are Your Odds? 115

Understanding clinic statistics 116

Interpreting the NPSU report 117

Understanding Your Chances of IVF Success 119

Age 120

Stimulation response 120

Type of fertility problem 121

Lifestyle factors 121

Setting Some Realistic Goals 122

Completing your first treatment cycle 122

Trying again 122

Chapter 9: Riding the Emotional Roller-Coaster of the IVF Cycle . . 125

Preparing For the Ups and Downs of the IVF Cycle 125

Starting treatment 126

Taking drugs and getting all hormonal 126

Passing the test of egg making 126

Getting eggs and sperm to the lab 127

Counting your chickens (or embryos in this case) 127

Waiting to find out whether the embryo will 'stick' 128

Taking it like a man 128

Feeling High and Feeling Low 128

Feeling on top of the world 129

Discovering that things don't always go to plan 130

Finding a Helping Hand 131

Supporting each other 131

Talking to your team 131

Calling a friend 132

Part III: Understanding the Risks of IVF 133

Chapter 10: Understanding the Risks of IVF to Your

Physical Health 135

Understanding the Possible Risks to Her 135

During treatment 136

Down the track 137

Pregnancy loss 137

During pregnancy and childbirth 139

Assessing the Possible Risks to Him 140

During treatment 140

Down the track 140

Examining the Possible Risks to Baby 140

During pregnancy 141

Childbirth 141

Growing up 142

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