Improving Your Odds: Fertility Questions Answered
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss—Q: I completed a second cycle of IVF, and this one also ended in a nonviable pregnancy. We have two frozen embryos left, but I want to find answers as to my recurrent pregnancy loss before I go in for my last FET. Any recommendations?
A: Going through a couple cycles of IVF can be emotionally and financially draining, let alone the roller coaster of initially finding out that the IVF worked, only to find out a couple of weeks later that the pregnancy isn’t viable.
At this point, most REs would recommend a work-up for recurrent pregnancy loss. Laboratory tests will vary from each center, but here’s a few that I usually check:
- Anticardiolipin Antibodies
- Lupus Anticoagulant
- Factor V leiden mutation
- Protein C
- Protein S
- Antithrombin III
- Prothrombin mutation
Acupuncture is recommended by some to help relax the uterus for an FET, but would only go to someone who has experience with fertility. A karyotype from your partner and yourself can be considered along with a second look inside the uterus to make sure everything is normal. Wishing you the best with your upcoming FET, hang in there, and Good Luck!
Does Acupuncture Increase Probability of Conception?
Q: I’ve read that acupuncture may promote conception. Is this true?
A: There are several studies that have been published that tend to agree with this statement. The most popular one is a German study showing increased pregnancy rates patients undergoing IVF. I tend to recommend it to many of my patients because it is not terribly expensive to begin with and in my belief, any little bit that can help you get pregnant that is safe, I’m all for it!
Does Lying Down Help?
Q: Does it improve my chances to lie down for 10 minutes after intercourse?
A: Lying down and/or bed rest is usually only recommended when there is an embryo transfer after IVF. I know, many of you who have received IUI are asked to lie down in the doctor’s office for about 10 minutes, hence probably where this question arises.
When sperm is deposited either through IUI or intercourse, lying down is not essential since pregnancy depends on the sperm’s ability to swim and find the egg, and they can definitely swim against gravity if the semen analysis was normal.
Embryos, however, are not necessarily swimmers, and once deposited, we try to be very careful. Nevertheless, the likelihood of embryos “falling out” is most likely very low since the endometrium of the uterus contains these finger like projections (called pinopodes) that likely keep the embryo from falling out. Something which is also very interesting is that from what we know, it may take the embryo a day or two of bouncing around inside the uterus before it actually implants … so much for falling out.
Answers provided by Dr. Quintero, expert in reproductive medicine and founder of C.A.R.E. fertility. Dr. Quintero has helped hundreds of families achieve their dreams of having babies.