Teaching while going through IVF can present some unique challenges for couples. This often leads to many teachers trying to squeeze in an IVF cycle over the summer while on break before heading back into the classroom.
You may be surprised to find that waiting until summer to get started may actually make it more difficult in the long run. The ideal time for teachers to start an IVF cycle is in the springtime. Here’s why.
The Time Involved
While the IVF cycle itself may only take a few weeks to a month or so, the time needed to prepare for the cycle often catches people off guard.
At your initial visit, the doctor will suggest diagnostic testing that often includes hormonal testing on day three of your menstrual cycle. Certain other types of diagnostic testing, like hysterosalpingogram (HSG), can also require that you be at a specific point in your cycle as well. This can add up to several weeks or even a month or so, depending on where you are in your cycle.
Some women may also need to see their primary care physician, obstetrician or other medical specialists before they can proceed with a cycle. This is decided on a case-by-case basis but is usually necessary when a woman is older or has health problems that can potentially make it unsafe or more difficult for her to carry a pregnancy. Again, depending on the reason for these extra consults, it can add up to a delay of several weeks or even months.
There are many other things that can come up in the course of preparing for an IVF cycle, which may cause a delay. Just a few examples include:
- Having an ovarian cyst that needs a cycle or two to go away
- Needing to be on birth control pills for a month or two
- Getting your period late or skipping a period
- Having an infection that needs to be treated
- Unexpectedly needing to select donor sperm or eggs
- Meeting insurance requirements and obtaining authorizations if you are lucky enough to have fertility benefits
- Having additional questions or not feeling ready to proceed
Sometimes, delays can happen due to unforeseen or unpredictable circumstances. While these delays can be understandably frustrating, it’s important to remember that the goal is a healthy and happy pregnancy and delivery. Starting early can help to minimize frustration if/when delays come up.
Making a Plan
At your initial consultation with the doctor, make sure to have a discussion about your timeframe, including when you’d like to get started, the date by which you’d like to finish the cycle, and any other dates that might be problematic for you. Having the dates of your last few periods can also be helpful for future cycle planning.
Since you may need to have time- or cycle day- sensitive testing, you may need to coordinate additional time off from work, even before the cycle begins. Ask your doctor about what can be expected before and during your cycle, and how much time you’ll need to take off. You might also ask whether the appointments can be scheduled before or after school hours.
Another consideration is the timing of your embryo transfer. Doing IVF and freezing your embryos allows you some control over when your transfer will be, therefore controlling (to a certain extent) when you will deliver. If your desire is to deliver during the summer months, you should aim to do your embryo transfer in September or October. Doing your transfer just before heading back to school in late August would result in delivering sometime in May.
IVF Cycle During the School Year
If you decide that you’d rather not wait until summer for your cycle, no problem! There are many teachers who go through infertility treatment during the school year. You may need to work with your employer so that you can get the time off you’ll need. Much of the required testing prior to the start of your IVF cycle can be done in the late afternoons after school. Once you are in-cycle, you will have a period of approximately two weeks where you will be required to come to the clinic for blood testing and ultrasounds to monitor your cycle. These appointments are done in the mornings prior to 10 am so that blood results can be back the same day to allow your physician to make any necessary medication dosage adjustments.
You will need a full day off the day of your egg retrieval.
It would be ideal to be able to plan for that day off specifically, however, the timing of your egg retrieval is based on your bodies response to the medication. You will have an approximate date range but will not know until about 36 hours in advance when your retrieval will be. The date for your embryo transfer is usually set a few weeks in advance, making it easier to schedule a sub in advance. It is not required to take the entire day off on the day of your transfer as there is no anesthetic used for the procedure and the appointment should not be more than an hour to an hour and a half. Planning ahead for missed lessons can help to make time-off less stressful.
If you’re ready to get started, or start planning for your summer cycle, get in touch with us today to book an appointment with one of our doctors!