Wait to start IVF after pregnancy?September 12, 2011Carole No Comments »
My posts have been fewer lately but but this morning I found a patient comment that tugged me back to the blog. On an old post, Wishing for a Happy Father’s Day, Elizabeth left me this comment and question:
“I miss your insightful posts.
Here’s a post idea: IVF after pregnancy. Need to wait awhile or….?
this question is for those of us who are infertile, maybe already having gone through IVF the first time, and want another baby….”
Thanks for your kind comment and blog idea!
Pregnancy spacing can affect the health outcome of the baby, according to this study reported in WebMD. If the next pregnancy comes either very soon (less than one year) or very late (more than 5 years) after the last birth, the risk of poor health outcomes increase. This study was done looking at outcomes in the general population and not specifically IVF pregnancies.
Most obstetricians will probably suggest that you wait about a year to get your body back to its full strength before you try again. When to try another IVF cycle is a great question for your physician. He or she would be best able to advise you regarding any medical issues that might need to be addressed before the next pregnancy.
The March of Dimes organization also recommends a pre-pregnancy check-up with your doctor and offers more “Getting ready for pregnancy” advice on their website. If you are older, your doctor may even recommend a cardiac evaluation or other testing before starting an IVF cycle.
If you are fortunate enough to have oocytes (or embryos) in storage, you can quiet the ticking of your biological clock and increase the spacing between pregnancies without having to worry about the effect of maternal age on egg quality. Your stored eggs aren’t exposed to the effects of aging-unlike the eggs in your ovaries. If you are doing fresh IVF cycles after 35, you might want to shorten the time line between pregnancies. Again, these are issues you will want to take up with your doctor.
You didn’t ask about this but women in remission from cancer (eg. some breast cancers) are typically advised to delay conception until the risk of relapse is statistically less likely. Fertile Hope specifically addresses pregnancy after cancer on their website. Some other medical conditions may also warrant caution before starting another IVF cycle.
If the medical issues are out of the way, then it’s up to you and your partner to decide when it’s the right time for the both of you. Lot’s for you to talk about!
© 2011 – 2012, Carole. All rights reserved.