First cycle questions
Before going to the appointment you may find it helpful to read our 'rough guide to IVF' and our guide to ICSI. In particular you may find it useful to know what a 'long protocol' (LP) and a 'short protocol' (SP) are.
Please remember that this is only a suggested (and not a definitive) list - it is very long and you may decide you can survive without knowing all the answers! Equally there may be many other questions that you might have beyond those listed here. Remember also that the nurses will know the answers to many of these questions, you may feel more comfortable (and possibly less rushed) asking them. The important thing is that you should feel comfortable that you know everything you feel you need to.
A couple of other tips, ask for a phone number you can ring if you suddenly remember something else you wanted to ask and don't forget that if the answers to these questions blow you away (and they did me) it is OK to ask for time to come to terms with it all (we put the treatment on hold for 3 months while we got our head around it!)1. Why have we been recommended for ICSI?
2.i. What drugs will I be on?
a) for down regulation (is that an injection? How often will I do it?)
b) for ovarian stimulation (N.B. this is nearly always an injection!)
c) to trigger the release of eggs
2.ii At what times of day will I have to take these drugs?
2.iii Why have you chosen these drugs for me?
2.iv What happens if I don't respond to the drugs/over respond?
(N.B. You may want to ask more about the injections at this point e.g. Can you show me how to do it? Can I have a practice? etc.)
3. What happens and when:
a) When do I start my down regulation drugs? (How long will I be on these for?)
b) How long (on average) will I have to wait for my period to start?
c) When will I have a baseline scan/assessment?
d) When will I start stimulating my ovaries?
e) How long after starting stimulation will egg collection be?
4. About the monitoring during stimulation phase of treatment:
a) What monitoring normally takes place during the stimulation phase of the treatment (e.g. blood tests for oestrogen, for progesterone and scans)?
b) How often will I have to come in for monitoring?
c) What will you be looking for (in the monitoring) to decide when egg collection will be?
d) How many eggs will you be expecting at egg collection.
5. About the egg collection:
a) Where do you carry out egg collection?
b) Will I have a general anesthetic or sedation during the procedure?
c) Will my husband be able to come in with me?
d) What pain relief will I need/get after egg collection?
e) How long will I need to be off work following egg collection?
6. About the sperm collection:
a) When will this need to be done?
b) Where do I have to do this?
c) Are there any aids/literature (or should I bring my own?)
d) When should I have my last ejaculation before 'storing it up' for the procedure?
7. Is there anything we can do to improve the quality of the eggs or the sperm? (e.g. lifestyle factors or supplements)
8. About the embryo transfer:
a) how many days after egg collection will this be (on average)?
b) How many cells would you expect them to be by then?
c) i) what are your opinions on single embryo transfer (particularly in relation to our case)?
ii) what would be the risks of a multiple pregnancy (in our particular case)?
iii) How many embryos do you suggest we transfer?
d) How do you grade the embryos?
e) Under what conditions would you freeze any 'spare' embryos?
9. Will I be receiving (or do you recommend) any additional treatment during this cycle of IVF/ICSI (e.g. low dose aspirin, IVIG, heparin etc.)
10. How do you rate our chances of success? (You may wish to be more specific for example asking about egg to embryo ratios)
11. What are the risks (including side-effects) that we need to be aware of?
12. If this treatment doesn't go to plan:
a) When and for what reasons might you abandon the cycle?
b) When would we be able to try again?
c) What support can we expect/access?
13. What do you estimate the costs as being?
14. When do we start?!
Fiannly don't forget that you can get a more 'print ready' version of this page by clicking on the print button at the top of this thread.
This is a copy of the original thread, if I have left out any recommendations anyone made I appologise and if any of you 'veterans' can think of a new and original question a newbie should ask a clinic please add it to the topic by clicking on 'reply'.