Treatment

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IVF treatment is a long and tedious procedure that necessitates commitment from the couple and the team. Despite significant advances in the field unfortunately not all couples are expected to conceive. Outcome of the treatment is directly related to woman's age and her ovarian reserve. In women who produce an adequate number of eggs and who are < 39 the outlook is bright as cumulative conception rates of 80% can be expected with 3 treatment cycles. That is to say those approximately 80 couples out of 100 will conceive when 3 treatment cycles are undertaken. In women > 39 particularly when the ovarian reserve is diminished, however, the outcome is bleak as cumulative conception rates will be in the range of 10-30%.

IVF treatment entails basically three steps that have been fairly standardized throughout the world. Treatment starts with stimulation of the ovaries to produce many eggs. The next step is egg collection and fertilization to produce embryos. After fertilization the embryos are kept in incubators for approximately 3-5 days after which they transferred into the mother's womb. Pregnancy test will be obtained 10-12 days after transfer.

Despite standardization of treatment protocols there is a wide variation in pregnancy rates that basically stem from laboratory conditions, experience of the medical staff, and embryo transfer policy. IVF clinics have been pressurized from the patients and their competitors to increase the number of embryos transferred into the uterus. However, this has been associated with an alarming increase in multiple pregnancy rates. Regulatory in most European countries and Australia issued imposing restrictions on the number of embryos that can be transferred to a patient. The most recent legislation in Turkey passed in 2010 allows only one embryo to be transferred for the first two treatment cycles in women35 years of age.

Assisted Reproduction Unit of the American Hospital, of which Dr Senai Aksoy is one of the experienced team members, has been first in the country to incorporate into routine practice procedures such as embryo freezing, blastocyst transfer, PGD, assisted hatching, embryo glue, and vitrification. We have a broad experience in dealing with couples with poor prognosis (age>39, less than optimal quality embryos, poor ovarian reserve and previous multiple failed treatments). Third party reproduction that entails the use of donated gametes is not allowed in Turkey.