Who needs IVF?

Couples with infertility challenges either as a result of gynecological-related problems such as blocked fallopian tubes, or the problems associated with gametes production (male or female). Also, couples who have tried fertility treatments such as intrauterine insemination, or timed intercourse without results may need IVF.

When is IVF Needed?

Because the IVF process bypasses the fallopian tubes (it was originally developed for women with blocked or missing fallopian tubes), it is the procedure of choice for those with fallopian tube issues, as well as for such conditions as endometriosis, male factor infertility and unexplained infertility. A physician can review a patient’s history and help to guide them to the treatment and diagnostic procedures that are most appropriate for them.

How long does the IVF process take?

The length of the IVF treatment cycle depends on the factors of necessary tests, medications, and ultimate treatment plan. But on an estimate scale, one cycle of the IVF process from the initial consultation to eventual embryo transfer can take averagely about 3 to 4 weeks

Are there risks to having a baby through IVF?

A number of studies have been conducted since 1992 when this concern was first raised. None have found an association between fertility medications and higher risk of ovarian or between IVF treatment itself and higher risk of ovarian cancer. Preliminary results from an ongoing National Institutes of Health study likewise suggest no association between fertility medications and ovarian, uterine or breast cancer.

Are IVF injections painful?

The prospect of daily injections can be overwhelming. While injections are a necessary part of IVF treatment, we have designed our medication schedules and injection type to minimize discomfort and stress; and our nurses carefully instruct and support every patient throughout this process. Medications that once had to be injected into the muscle have been replaced by medications given as a small injection under the skin (subcutaneous). Such injections are most commonly taken over a 10-12 day period, followed by one intramuscular injection of hCG, a hormone that triggers ovulation at the conclusion of the stimulation cycle.

Is the egg retrieval procedure painful?

Because anesthesia is used for egg retrieval, patients feel nothing during the procedure. Egg retrieval is a minor surgery, in which a vaginal ultrasound probe fitted with a long, thin needle is passed through the wall of the vagina and into each ovary. The needle punctures each egg follicle and gently removes the egg through a gentle suction. Anesthesia wears off quickly once egg retrieval is concluded. Patients may feel some minor cramping in the ovaries that can be treated with appropriate medications.

How long do out of town patients have to stay in Jos?

Many of our patients at Alps hospitals & diagnostics come from different parts of the country, and other parts of the world and as such all medical enquiries and consultations on IVF can be done via telephone; many of the required screening tests and procedures, including initial fertility stimulation treatment, can be coordinated with a patient’s local gynecologist or reproductive endocrinologist. Those who have started stimulation treatment at home will travel to our clinic about 5-7 days later. Most patients need to be in Jos for 10 days to three weeks. Our staffs are always available to help and counsel out of town patients throughout treatment, via telephone or e-mail. (08138288842, 08083941603 or alpshospital@gmail.com)

How soon can out of town patients travel home after IVF treatment?

Most of our out of town patients return home the day after the embryo transfer — there is no medical reason to stay in Jos after IVF treatment. All types of travel are safe. Sitting for an extended period of time will not affect chances of pregnancy. We recommend that patients traveling by air drink plenty of fluids, as circulated air can be quite dry, and dehydration should be avoided.

Is IVF using up all a woman’s eggs?

A woman’s ovaries house hundreds of potential eggs. Each month, during the natural ovulation cycle, the ovary selects just one egg from a pool of 100-1,000. Those eggs which are not selected undergo a natural cell death process called atresia. When a woman uses fertility medication, the body’s natural selection process is overridden, and a number of these otherwise unused eggs are allowed to grow. As many as 20 eggs may be stimulated in a given cycle. Thus when using fertility medication in the IVF process, not only is the woman not using up all of her eggs, but she is ‘rescuing’ eggs that otherwise would have undergone atresia.

What are the chances of pregnancy with frozen embryos?

In general, the success of frozen-thawed embryo transfer procedures depends on three factors:
* The quality and survival of the frozen-thawed embryos. In general, we only freeze good quality embryos so the current rate of survival is greater than 90%.
* The age of the woman who produced the eggs. In patients under the age of 37, the chances of pregnancy with frozen-thawed embryos are similar to a pregnancy with fresh embryos.
* In patients 37 years or older, chances of pregnancy with frozen-thawed embryos decline in conjunction with declining fertility in general, but still can be quite good. As always it is best to discuss a woman’s individual situation with the physician.
* The status of the uterus in the woman receiving the embryos. A healthy endometrial lining free of any interfering fibroids or polyps provides a sound environment for embryo implantation.

How are frozen embryos transferred?

Previously frozen embryos may be transferred during a woman’s natural cycle or in a controlled (artificial) cycle, depending on a number of factors:
Controlled cycle transfer.
In a controlled cycle, hormone medications are given to prepare the uterus for transfer. This method is recommended for patients who have irregular cycles. Because the controlled cycle can be precisely timed, it is also advised for those who are on a set travel schedule. The medications commonly used for a controlled cycle are estrogen (either in an injectable or oral form) and progesterone (in either an injectable or vaginal form).
Natural cycle transfer.
Patients with regular menstrual cycle may have the option of using their natural cycle for transfer of frozen-thawed embryos. In this case, there is no need for hormone treatment, as the body’s natural cycle will prepare the uterus for pregnancy. In cases where natural cycle transfer is possible, this option allows for less medication and monitoring and thus is often relatively affordable for patients. We typically will monitor the natural cycle using home urinary ovulation predictor kits as well as ultrasounds. When the kit changes and/or a nice pre-ovulatory follicle is seen on ultrasound, we administer a single injection of Ovidrel (recombinant subcutaneous hCG) and the patient starts progesterone vaginal suppositories a couple of days later. The embryo transfer will occur 5-7 days after ovulation/hCG injection, depending on whether the embryos are frozen at a Day 3 or Day 5 stage.
For the transfer procedure itself, the embryo is thawed at room temperature, and then warmed to body temperature (37° C). As with a fresh embryo transfer, embryos are placed inside a special catheter (a very thin tube), which is guided through the cervix and into the uterus. Embryos are gently injected into the uterus and the catheter is removed. This procedure requires no anesthesia, and is done in a position similar to a pelvic examination for a Pap smear. After transfer, the woman rests for 15 minutes and then is able to go home, where a day of rest or very gentle daily activity is recommended.

What are the options if a woman’s own eggs are not producing a pregnancy?

The ability to use a donor egg has enabled thousands of women to become pregnant when they otherwise might not have had this opportunity. While a woman’s eggs may not be viable, very often the uterus is completely healthy and capable of supporting a pregnancy. In these cases, egg donation with IVF has high success rates. This procedure follows the same protocol as IVF, except the intended parents select a donor and use the donor’s egg to create the embryo. Patients may seek egg donation services.

What if a woman is not capable of carrying a pregnancy?

Various medical conditions may make it impossible for a woman to carry a pregnancy. Reproductive medicine provides the option of enabling another woman, known as a gestational carrier (formerly called a surrogate) to carry the child of a woman who cannot sustain a pregnancy.
There are two types of gestational carriers:
A traditional gestational carrier becomes artificially inseminated with the sperm of the intended father and uses her own eggs to fertilize the embryo. Many fertility centers do not offer traditional surrogacy. The legal issues and complicated past history of parental rights with traditional surrogacy have led to the discouragement of this option.
A gestational carrier with IVF does not contribute any of her own genetic material. In this case, the egg as well as sperm are extracted from the prospective parents, fertilized in the laboratory with IVF and then implanted into the uterus of the surrogate.
A gestational carrier may be appropriate for those in the following situations:
* No uterus
* Abnormal uterine cavity
* Several recurrent miscarriages
* Recurrent IVF cycles have not produced a pregnancy
* Medical conditions would make pregnancy dangerous for the mother or her baby

What is 3rd party IVF?

Sometimes, the help of a third party (apart from the couples), may be needed in achieving the goal of conception. This could be in the form of using the gametes of the 3rd party (male or female), or just the mitochondrion in the cell. There could be the case of surrogacy, where a woman (called a surrogate), carries the baby belonging to the couple.
In any case, we take into consideration all religious, ethical, legal, and social inclinations in doing this with full respect to individual privacy and welfare needs.

Why choose Alps as your Fertility and IVF Clinic?

At Alps Hospital & Diagnostics, we do not adopt the conventional ‘one cap fits all’ approach in our treatment. From your medical history and diagnosis, we offer a personalized treatment plan that is unique to you which is aimed at giving you the best chance at achieving your goal of conception and a complete family.
We are Africa’s Premier Hospitality-based Fertility Hospital. We hold the record of the oldest first-time delivery mum in Africa at the age of 63 through IVF.
We do not approach fertility treatment as a mere enterprise, but we consider it as a privilege to contribute to the bliss of a complete family for you, and as such, we do this with all professionalism and empathy.

What is the IVF success rate at Alps?

Well, accurate reporting of IVF success rates seems complex worldwide. This is due to the fact that different treatment approaches, as well as patient selection criteria come to the fore. And of course, the chances of success are greatly determined by the factors of the number of embryos transferred, age, as well as the quality of the endometrium (lining of the womb).
We however recognize that clients deserve to know the possible outcome of the cycle based on the average results obtained till this point, and have the assurance that they are in the right centre.
So generally, we have maintained a success rate of 71 to 75%.

What is the cost of IVF at Alps?

Well, the cost of IVF slightly varies depending on each patient’s unique situation which determines the approach to be taken. These may include preliminary treatments from the result of our evaluation. This is with the aim of giving you the best chance possible.
It is pertinent to note that at Alps, we understand the reality of diverse economic backgrounds and as such give slight considerations based on this.

Does IVF have any side effects?

There could be mild effects ranging from abdominal pain and weight gain. Which are really nothing to worry about. We take extra precaution to avoid the condition of ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome.

Can I choose the Genotype and Sex of my baby at Alps?

Many couples may want to select the specific gender of their offspring. And even more importantly, couples who are carriers of certain genetic diseases will not like to pass them to their offspring. A critical example is the case of AS and AS genotype parents who want to eliminate the chance of having a SS offspring. And yes, we offer Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and Screening (PGD & PGS). Here we employ a specially advanced technique alongside the IVF process to screen and select only the non-affected and desired embryos to transfer. This helps to achieve the goal of desired offspring and genetically healthy embryo.