What factors affect IVF and how best to maximise the chances of success were discussed by Mr Yacoub Khalaf, Consultant Gynaecologist and Medical Director of the Assisted Conception Unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS and member of the British Fertility Society (BFS) Executive Committee at this year’s Fertility Show (5-6 November) in London last weekend.
Mr Khalaf explained what is understood to influence the success or failure of an IVF cycle including some of those factors within a patient’s control at a seminar at the Show.
There are certain factors which are beyond a patient’s control such as age, ovarian reserve, previous pregnancy history and previous fertility treatment history.
Moreover, there are factors which can be adopted to maximise the chances of success. These include lifestyle changes such as losing weight if needed, stopping smoking for both partners, reduce alcohol consumption, eat a balanced diet and for women remembering to take folic acid in the run up to starting treatment.
Mr Khalaf also explained what fertility clinics can do to help and what patients should look out for. For example it is important that clinics invest in state-of-the-art technology and offer personalised care and support as undergoing treatment can be stressful for couples and their families.
Egg freezing was also discussed as many people ask about this and the benefits it can have for future cycles. Storing extra embryos for future use can mean it is simpler and cheaper than starting a new cycle of IVF. Furthermore, nearly 90% of embryos survive the freezing/thawing process.
Mr Khalaf welcomed the opportunity to offer advice and support to people attending the Fertility Show. He said: “As a member of the British Fertility Society (BFS), I aimed to give visitors impartial advice on best practice as it is our job as healthcare professionals to ensure patients are well informed.
“Undergoing fertility treatment is not only stressful but there is a lot of conflicting advice out there. It is important to know the facts and make the right decision about choosing a clinic and understanding what is and what is not in your control.”
For BFS Patient Information please visit: https://britishfertilitysociety.org.uk/public-resources/information-for-the-public/ with brand new information on age and fertility and top tips for conceiving for both men and women.