Frequently Asked Questions
- What medications can I take for a cold?
You may take some medications during your treatment cycle or if you are pregnant. Tylenol, Extra Strength Tylenol and Benadryl are allowed, as well as plain Sudafed, Robitussin and Ocean nasal spray. Please ask your nurse if you need to take other medications while you are in treatment or pregnant.
- Can I exercise while going through treatment- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)/IVF? What can I do?
Some exercise is acceptable during treatment, but as the treatment cycle progresses only low impact exercise (walking) is recommended. The ovaries may become enlarged from the fertility medications you may be taking, and high impact exercise may put you at risk for ovarian torsion, where the ovary can twist on itself. This is very rare, but a serious side effect.
- Can I take herbal supplements?
Herbal supplements are not recommended and may cause unknown effects. If you are on such supplements, please inform your nurse.
- Can I color my hair if I am going through treatment/think I am pregnant?
If you are going through treatment, hair coloring is allowed. If you are pregnant, it is best to wait until after 12 weeks to receive hair color treatment.
- Can I get my nails done if I think I am pregnant?
Artificial nails/receiving a manicure will not cause any harm during pregnancy, but make sure you are in a well-ventilated area.
- What can I take for constipation?
Metamucil, Citracal, Colace, flaxseed and increased water intake may relieve the symptoms of constipation.
- How long do I have to take the fertility injections?
Depending on the protocol chosen for you, the length of the injections will vary. Typically, you will be on injections for 8-10 days, unless you are on a “downregulation” cycle, and then it will be longer.
- What are the side effects of the medications I will be taking?
Side effects from fertility medications vary from patient to patient, but typical side effects may include abdominal bloating, headaches, breast tenderness, and nausea.
- How much does treatment cost?
Cost for fertility treatment varies, depending on a variety of factors (what treatment is recommended for you, how much medication you will need, whether insurance covers a portion of treatment, etc.) Our business office representatives work closely with you to utilize your maximum insurance benefits.
- What is the percentage of success with each treatment cycle?
Pregnancy success percentages vary from patient to patient- your physician can best predict outcome for your individual situation after reviewing your history, evaluation, and prior response to fertility medications.
IVF programs are required to report their statistics to the Centers for Disease Control and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. These statistics are available for public review.
- What constitutes Day of Cycle 1?
Day of cycle 1 is considered your first day of heavy full flow bleeding, not spotting. If this occurs after 4:00pm, the next day is considered Day 1.
- Does your office provide my medications?
RBA does not provide fertility medications for your cycle, but a prescription will be given to you or can be faxed to the pharmacy of your choice.
- Are medications included in the cost of a cycle?
Typically medications are not included in the cost of a cycle, as the amount of medication needed will vary from patient to patient.
- Can I pay for treatment on a payment plan?
A member of our business office can assist you with payment plan options.
- Can I travel during treatment- IUI or IVF?
It is imperative during the “monitoring” phase of your treatment cycle that you are available for multiple appointments to assess the growth of your follicles. Your nurse, prior to your cycle, can assist you in planning for these appointments.
- Can my OB/GYN do my diagnostic testing so insurance will cover these tests?
A prescription can be given to you to have some testing (labwork, etc) performed at your OB/GYN’s office or another laboratory. This will depend on what testing is ordered, usually preliminary testing. Some testing will need to be done with your physician here at RBA.
- Can I see my doctor at one of the satellite offices?
The satellite offices are staffed by certain physicians, and not all of our physicians rotate to each of these offices. However, you may do monitoring for your cycle at any of these offices, Monday through Friday.
- Will fertility drugs cause me to have a multiple birth?
Fertility medications cause more follicles to develop, so there is an increased risk of a multiple pregnancy any time fertility medications are taken. During your cycle, your physician will discuss the risk of a multiple pregnancy based on your response. If you are pursuing IVF, a detailed discussion will occur in regards to how many embryos to replace, thus decreasing the risk of multiples.
- What is the difference between IUI and IVF?
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) involves the washing of husband’s (or the use of frozen donor) sperm, which is prepared in the laboratory and placed in a small catheter. The catheter is then inserted through the cervix and deposited into the uterus. The sperm are closer to the fallopian tubes with this procedure, where fertilization occurs. This is an office procedure, takes only several minutes, and minimal discomfort is involved.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproductive technology where the woman takes injectable fertility medications to stimulate the ovaries until multiple follicles are mature. At this time, the woman undergoes a minor surgical procedure, called an egg retrieval, where the follicles are aspirated vaginally under ultrasound guidance, while the woman is under intravenous sedation. The eggs are then fertilized with sperm, and the resulting embryos are watched for development, and transferred back into the uterus at the appropriate time. The main difference with IVF is fertilization occurs outside the body.
- Who do I call with my questions?
During office hours Monday through Friday, if you have a question please call the administrative assistant who works with your physician. Leave several numbers where you can be reached. A message will be taken and the chart will be delivered to the nurse, who will then call you back. Please keep in mind that the nurses are with patients during the day, and your call will be returned as soon as possible. All calls are returned the same day.
If you have a question after hours, there is an emergency answering service that can page the nurse or doctor on call. If your question is not an emergency, please call the next morning when the phones are turned on at 8:30a.m.
- When can we have intercourse after Embryo Transfer and if I am pregnant?
After embryo transfer, we ask that you refrain from intercourse until your pregnancy test, approximately 10 days later. If you are pregnant, as long as you are not having bleeding or discomfort, intercourse is not contraindicated.
- Can I fly on a plane after my Embryo Transfer?
Air travel should be fine following the embryo transfer. It is extremely important to have your blood pregnancy test drawn at the appropriate time following the transfer.
- What is PGD?
PGD, or Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, is a series of techniques that allows embryos derived from IVF to be genetically tested for a variety of disorders prior to implantation.
- Is the egg retrieval process painful?
The egg retrieval procedure lasts approximately 20-30 minutes, and intravenous sedation is given so the patient is not awake. Some patients have mild cramping after the procedure, and are discharged home with a prescription for pain medication.
- Is there a greater risk of birth defects with a child born from IVF?
The simple answer is no, however a handful of studies show a trend toward certain specific abnormalities, including heart defects and genital abnormalities in males born after the ICSI procedure. Careful review of these data shows this risk to be related to the parents genetic makeup and not as a result of the procedure itself.
- Is it normal to lightly spot or have twinges/cramping early in pregnancy?
Spotting (dark red or brown) can be quite normal early in pregnancy. However, if you experience bright red bleeding, that soaks through a pad an hour, please get off your feet immediately and call our office.
Intermittent mild cramping and slight twinges on either side may also be normal. If cramping is moderate to severe, this may not be normal and you should notify our office.
If you have had IVF with multiple embryos transferred, patients may experience some spotting as well.
- When will I be able to tell if I am pregnant?
A pregnancy test should be accurate 14 days from detected ovulation, or from the administration of the HCG injection. Any earlier testing could result in a false positive pregnancy test. With IVF, pregnancy testing is scheduled 10-12 days after the embryo transfer, depending on the stage of the embryos at transfer.
- How long will I stay with the practice once I am pregnant?
Typically you will not be discharged to your OB/GYN until 8-10 weeks of pregnancy. You will have several blood tests and ultrasounds to determine appropriate growth of the pregnancy before you are released.
- How many monitoring appointments will I have while I am in treatment?
The number of appointments required for monitoring depends upon your response to the medications. Typically in a Clomid/IUI cycle, you will have 2-3 appointments, including the insemination. In an injection/IUI cycle, you will have 6-8 appointments, and in an IVF cycle you will have 7-10 appointments, including the egg retrieval.
- Do I have to come in every day for monitoring appointments?
There will be a period of 4-5 days when you will be required to come in every day for your monitoring appointments towards the end of the cycle. This is to ensure the proper timing of the trigger shot for IVF to fully mature the eggs prior to retrieval.
- Do I have to come to the Main Office for my monitoring appointments?
You may use one of the three satellite offices in addition to the Main office for your monitoring appointments. The Main office opens at 7:00a.m., and then satellite offices open at 8:00a.m.
- Can I come in for monitoring in the afternoon?
Monitoring appointments need to be scheduled in the morning, so there is ample time for the lab work to be processed and evaluated by your physician.
- Does my husband need to attend appointments?
Your husband does not need to attend the monitoring appointments, but it is recommended that he attend the new patient appointment with you, as well as subsequent consults.
- What appointments are available on the weekends?
We are open seven days a week, but weekend appointments are reserved for monitoring appointments for patients who are in a medication cycle (IUI and IVF).
We also have insemination appointments on the weekend, as well as egg retrievals and embryo transfers.