Fertility Treatment FAQ’s

Our patients often have many questions about fertility treatment.

Here are the answers to a few of the most common questions.

How long do I wait before being evaluated by a fertility specialist?
Generally most patients will start a fertility evaluation after one year of attempting pregnancy. The average fecundability (pregnancy rate per month) for a fertile couple is approximately 20 percent. As a result, approximately 90 percent of couples will have become pregnant after one year of attempting. The remaining 10 percent should be evaluated for fertility treatment. Women over the age of 30 should seek medical advice after 6 months of attempting pregnancy. Women over the age of 40 may consider meeting with a fertility specialist as soon as they have decided to pursue childbearing.

Do you have any age cut-off for evaluation?
We will evaluate female patients attempting pregnancy from the age of 18 years old to 55 years old.

Can I get pregnant if I no longer have menses (menopause)?
The answer depends on the etiology of the lack of menses. If in fact you are menopausal then you will need egg donation. However, if the problem is hormonal, you may be treated with fertility medications.

How long does this whole process take?
If your fertility treatment involves intra-uterine insemination (IUI), typically the process takes about two weeks. During these two weeks, your ovaries will be stimulated to produce follicles, ovulation will occur and thereafter an insemination is performed.

In vitro fertilization (IVF), takes a bit longer, lasting anywhere from 4-6 weeks prior to egg retrieval. The embryos are then transferred anywhere from 3-5 days later.

How many embryos are transferred?
To answer this question, each scenario really must be individualized. Many factors must be considered, and patient input is critical. Generally, we transfer anywhere from one to five embryos at one time. (Women over 42 years of age, or those who have had recurrent IVF failure, may elect to transfer more embryos.)

What are your success rates?
Please refer to the Success Rates Section of this web site.

Do you perform intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) on all patients?
No, we do not. We feel that ICSI is to be performed on patients who have an indication for the procedure, such as severe male factor and/or prior history of poor fertilization.

Are urine pregnancy tests as reliable as blood tests?
No. The urine test depends on your hydration level. Furthermore, they are predictable to about 25 mIU per mL of bHCG. On the other hand, blood tests are sensitive to approximately 2 mIU per mL. Therefore, a very early pregnancy could be missed with a urine pregnancy test that may still be detected with blood levels.

When is the best time to measure urine for ovulation?
We usually recommend that patients test their urine in the early afternoon. If measured early in the morning, the urine can be concentrated and thus give you false positive results. Therefore, we recommend any time after 3:00 p.m.

Do you do male infertility evaluations?
We do have an andrologist in the office that will perform male infertility evaluations. Please contact our office for more information.

Do you only treat married couples?
USC Fertility provides expert fertility medical treatment for married and unmarried couples, same sex couples and individuals.