Add-on IVF treatments: All you need to know
In the past, couples who decided to undergo in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) would simply go for the treatment, then cross their fingers and wait. Couples today, however, can opt to go through additional IVF treatments, in the hopes that this may increase their chances of conceiving.
In this blog post, we’ll share what these add-on IVF treatments entail, and discuss the factors to keep in mind when contemplating these treatments.
What are IVF add-on treatments?
IVF add-on treatments are basically treatments that “supplement” IVF. Some of these treatments involve using “emerging techniques” that have shown promising results in small-scale studies, while other treatments rely on more established methods that have been around for quite some time.
These add-on treatments tend to be pricey, and clinics rarely include add-on treatments as part of their IVF packages. With this in mind, most folks will have to fork out extra if they’re intending to undergo IVF add-on treatments.
What are the different types of add-on treatments?
IVF add-on treatments include immunotherapies, endometrial scratching, endometrial receptivity array (ERA) testing, time lapse imaging of embryos, the prescription of steroids, testosterone and growth hormones.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what each treatment involves:
Immunotherapies: This involves taking oral medication in order to suppress the immune system. The goal is to decrease the natural killer cell activation in the immune system, so as to increase chances of implantation.
Endometrial scratching: This irritates the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) before IVF in order to increase the chance of implantation. This comes with various risks, including bleeding, infection and uterine perforation.
Endometrial receptivity array (ERA) testing: This involves the patient undergoing an endometrial biopsy, so that her ob-gyn can determine whether they should give the patient a larger dose of progesterone before her embryo transfer.
How do you decide whether add-on IVF treatments are for you?
Before you sign up for any add-on IVF treatments, ensure that you have a clear picture of the costs and risks involved.
As mentioned earlier, add-on IVF treatments tend to be pretty pricey. If you need to take time off to go for your treatment and/or recuperate after your treatment, and this may affect your work, factor this into your decision as well.
On top of that, make sure you talk to your ob-gyn and get an accurate understanding of what risks you’ll be facing with your add-on treatment. If you are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, it might be wiser to not opt for any additional treatments, and simply make lifestyle changes to increase your chances of getting pregnant.