Predicting IVF Success 101:
Univfy’s Fertility Chronicles is pleased to present an occasional blog series explaining the many fertility factors, such as age, ovarian reserve, body mass index, and others, that determine your personal probability of having a baby with IVF. Univfy IVF Prediction Tests analyze the sum total of all these factors unique to you to determine your personal probability of IVF success. We hope that explaining these factors will give you a better understanding of Univfy IVF Prediction Tests’ ability to help you and your fertility doctor make more informed and confident decisions about your fertility treatment. Welcome to the blog series, “Predicting IVF Success.”
---Mylene Yao, M.D., CEO and Co-founder, Univfy Inc.
In our other blog posts,Your Personal Chances of IVF Success- Ovarian Reserve and Your Personal Chances of IVF Success-Your Ovarian Reserve Data, we discussed tests measuring your Day 3 FSH, antral follicle count (AFC), and anti-mullerian hormone levels (AMH), which are all factors that can help predict your personal chances of IVF success. Like those tests, your response to ovarian stimulation drugs, often called FSH or gonadotropin stimulation, also helps predict your personal probability of having a baby with IVF. Responses, such as the dose of FSH you need to generate eggs for IVF retrieval, the resulting number of eggs, your endometrial thickness, and estradiol levels, are good predictors of your personalized probability of IVF success.
Let’s start by discussing FSH. When you go through IVF treatment and need higher than normal doses of FSH to get an average or below average numbers of eggs at retrieval, you have a relatively poor response to stimulation. Conversely, if you are overly sensitive to FSH stimulation, you are more likely to suffer from Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS), a rare complication of gonadotropin stimulation.
Not surprisingly, good responders tend to be more successful with IVF because they tend to produce more embryos and are more likely to have high quality embryos to transfer. Because your response to ovarian stimulation is usually consistent and specific to you, it provides useful information when combined with your other fertility factors to create your personal probability of pregnancy with IVF.
Two other signs that can be used to measure your response to ovarian stimulation are your endometrial thickness and your peak serum estradiol levels as your stimulation cycle progresses. Endometrial thickness refers to how thick the uterine lining becomes as FSH stimulates the cells in the uterus to grow and prepare a lush environment for embryo implantation and pregnancy. The thickness of the uterine lining is visible on ultrasound as first, a simple single line, and then, a more complex three-line pattern. This three-line or “trilaminar” ultrasound image is a signal that the uterus is ready for embryo transfer in an IVF or frozen embryo transfer cycle.
In a similar way, your blood estrogen levels increase in response to ovarian stimulation, because FSH drives the production of estradiol by cells in your follicle cells as the follicles grow and the eggs mature. Your doctor will order repeated blood tests for estradiol level to monitor your ovarian response to the IVF medications. Along with the blood tests, your doctor will order ultrasound monitoring of your ovaries to see that the follicles are increasing in size as expected with the increasing estradiol level.
Univfy IVF Prediction Tests tease apart the contribution of each of these ovarian response factors to the overall likelihood of pregnancy for the next IVF cycle. Ovarian response fertility factors may be more or less significant for your individual prediction of IVF success depending on the interplay of other factors specific to you. Univfy PreIVF and Univfy PredictIVF tests were designed to take these multiple factors into account to give an accurate and personalized prediction of your IVF success.
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