FAQ
Bay IVF - Advanced Reproductive Care                                Palo Alto  650-322-0500

 

Frequently Asked Questions

You are welcome to call or email us with any questions. We try to respond as soon as possible but never later than the next business day. Please contact us by phone at 650-322-0500 or via email at care@BayIVF.com.

How long should I wait before seeking treatment?

It is important that you do not wait too long before seeing an infertility specialist. Please note that there is no distinction between having unprotected intercourse and "trying" to conceive. They both represent "exposure" to conception.

The following table illustrates the recommended length of "exposure," as it relates to the female partner’s age, before consulting a Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) specialist.

Length of "Exposure" before Consulting an REI Specialist
Female Age No
Exposure
1 to 3 months 4 to 6 months 7 to 9 months 10 to 12 months 13 or more months
35 or Less Begin sexual activity Continue sexual activity Continue sexual activity Continue sexual activity Continue sexual activity Consult
REI
36 to 37 Begin sexual activity Continue sexual activity Continue sexual activity Continue sexual activity Consult
REI
 
38 to 39 Begin sexual activity Continue sexual activity Continue sexual activity Consult
REI
   
40 to 41 Begin sexual activity Continue sexual activity Consult
REI
     
42 to 44 Consult
REI
         
How can I increase my chance of pregnancy?

Your state of health can play an important role when trying to conceive. Please use the "Optimize Your Fertility" link in the menu and try to follow the recommendations as closely as possible.

What is Soft-IVF?

Soft-IVF (mini IVF, minimal stimulation IVF) is Bay IVF's registered, unique In Vitro Fertilization treatment. It represents a new approach to treating infertility by combining gentle ovarian stimulation with the latest advances in embryology laboratory techniques.

Soft-IVF treatment consists of taking oral medications and approximately five to six shallow, subcutaneous injections to stimulate the development of a moderate number of as high-quality eggs as possible (quality over quantity). Ultrasound examinations are used to monitor progress. The egg retrieval procedure, oocyte fertilization, and embryo culture do not differ from conventional IVF.

Soft-IVF can be a very effective treatment for male factor infertility and should be considered as a much better alternative to intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatment.

How do I decide between IVF and Soft-IVF?

The decision of which treatment option is most appropriate for you is based on your reproductive medical history, your preference, and the results of your infertility testing.

The majority of eligible patients will be candidates for both conventional IVF and Soft-IVF treatment. The treatment selection will largely depend on a personal preference between the following two choices:

  • Select conventional In Vitro Fertilization if you want to maximize the cumulative probability of a successful outcome.
  • Select Soft-IVF if you want to minimize the number of injections and lower the treatment cost.
What are the specific qualifications for Soft-IVF compared with conventional IVF?

The specific prerequisites for Soft-IVF include:

  1. The patient’s age must be 40 years or younger by the time Soft-IVF treatment starts.
  2. Soft-IVF requires regular cycles every 21 to 35 days.
  3. Antral follicle count must be between 10 and 24.
  4. FSH level must be 9.0 or less, and estrogen level must be 50 or less
  5. Sperm motility must be 5% or higher, and normal sperm morphology must be 5% or higher.
Do I take medications in the Soft-IVF treatment?

In contrast with "natural cycle" IVF, in Soft-IVF, we use gentle stimulation of the ovaries with oral medications which usually results in the development of two to five eggs. The likelihood of not retrieving any eggs is low and by being able to transfer one or two embryos, the probability of pregnancy is usually much higher than with natural cycle IVF which often results in no embryo being available for transfer into the uterus.

Should I go straight to Soft-IVF or consider other, "lesser" treatments first?

The decision which treatment is the most appropriate for you is based on your past reproductive history, results of your fertility testing, and the outcome of any reproductive treatments you may have had. You may need Soft-IVF treatment if any of the following apply to you:

  • Long-standing infertility: No contraception use for a year and a half or more
  • Male factor infertility
  • History of tubal blockage and pelvic adhesions
  • Infertility associated with endometriosis
  • Infertility associated with mild to moderate polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Unexplained infertility
  • As an alternative to IUI or ovarian stimulation treatment
  • History of unsuccessful IUI or ovarian stimulation treatment
How does Soft-IVF treatment differ from ovarian stimulation and intrauterine insemination (IUI)?

Soft-IVF is much closer to the conventional In Vitro Fertilization than to the treatment combining oral ovarian stimulation and IUI's. It should provide a significantly higher probability of pregnancy. It can also be used to treat male infertility for which ovarian stimulation with IUI may not be appropriate.

How long does it take to complete a cycle of Soft-IVF?

After embryos have been created and cryopreserved, there is a cycle of Frozen Embryo Transfer which includes preparation of endometrial lining, embryo thawing, and uterine transfer. It takes approximately 8 weeks from the beginning of ovarian stimulation to the frozen embryo transfer procedure. During this time, there are only approximately 4-6 visits to the Clinic.

Do I need to take breaks between treatment cycles?

Soft-IVF includes a cycle of Frozen Embryo Transfer. This substitutes for a break between two cycles of Soft-IVF, therefore no additional break is needed.

In comparison, conventional In Vitro Fertilization requires a break of at least one spontaneous menstrual cycle between IVF treatments.

What kind of testing is required for Soft-IVF treatment?

The State of California requires both partners to be tested for Hepatitis B-Surface Antigen, Hepatitis C-Antibody, HIV I&II, HTLV I&II, and Syphilis.

Bay IVF prerequisites include Ovarian Reserve Assay, semen test, sonohysterogram, and a measurement of the length of the endometrial cavity.

We have poor sperm quality. Can we still have Soft-IVF?

Since Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) can be a part of the Soft-IVF treatment if needed, Soft-IVF can be an excellent choice for couples with mild to moderately severe male factor infertility.

What are my chances of a successful pregnancy with Soft-IVF?

Since Soft-IVF usually results in the development of fewer embryos the cumulative pregnancy probability of Soft-IVF will be somewhat lower than the conventional IVF cumulative probability.

On the other hand, the probability of a successful Soft-IVF outcome is much higher than the pregnancy probability of intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatment.

How many cycles of Soft-IVF should I plan for?

Most patients can increase their cumulative Soft-IVF pregnancy probability by having more than one embryo transfer. The following graph illustrates the approximate increase in successful outcome probability after two and three cycles of Soft-IVF embryo transfer.

 

Two or Three Cycles (Embryo Transfers)
Increase Likelihood of Successful Outcome

Cumulative Probability of IVF

 

In this example, we used an arbitrary 35% successful outcome probability per Soft-IVF embryo transfer. Your actual likelihood of pregnancy could be higher or lower.

Could I get pregnant with twins through Soft-IVF?

Soft-IVF ovarian stimulation usually results in the retrieval of two to five eggs. Most of them would be expected to fertilize, and you may have two or more embryos available for transfer. If you decide to transfer two embryos, the treatment can result in becoming pregnant with twins. Most couples select either one or two embryos for transfer.

I am 41 years old. Is Soft-IVF right for me?

You must be 40 years or younger to be a candidate for the Soft-IVF treatment. Compared with conventional In Vitro Fertilization, Soft-IVF commonly results in fewer eggs developing within the ovaries. It is important to ensure that the egg quality is sufficiently high.

Do medications used in the Soft-IVF treatment have any side-effects?

Most patients should expect minimal, if any, side-effects from the Soft-IVF medications. You should be able to continue with your everyday lifestyle during your treatment.

How long can you store frozen embryos?

There is no time limit on storing cryopreserved embryos. They are stored in liquid nitrogen at close to absolute zero degrees temperature and do not age. Your uterus also does not "grow old." Theoretically, there is also no limit on the age of the recipient mother of frozen-thawed embryos.

Since pregnancy complications, not related to the uterus, increase significantly with age and could compromise the mother’s and baby’s health, you must be 48 and 11 months or younger at the time of transfer of your frozen-thawed embryos at Bay IVF.

 

Please use the following links for information about Soft IVF treatment and to request a consultation.

 

Request Information
or a Consultation
with Dr. Polansky

 

Thank you.
We will contact you as soon as possible.