IVF The Coordinator’s Perspective
By: Andrea Cleary, PA-C
IVF can be an emotional process starting from the day that a patient learns she needs a non-traditional method to achieve pregnancy. After the determination has been made by one of our physicians that IVF is required, patients begin the next step on their journey with me. As the IVF Coordinator, I have the important job of guiding those in need of In Vitro along on their quest to bringing home a happy, healthy, bouncing bundle of joy.
The first time I meet a patient is often the day of the IVF Teaching Consultation which is an individualized one on one meeting. Our facility offers a more intimate approach to instructions and IVF review which allows our patients to gain a thorough understanding of how the process works. After scheduling dates for an IVF cycle the patient begins a treatment regimen which includes injectable medications.
Anticipating the day of egg retrieval can often be daunting and nerve wracking. Our team members try to make the experience as comfortable as possible by reminding the patient what to expect and how they will feel once the procedure is done. An IV line is started by an Anesthesiologist who will then administer medication which will place the patient in twilight sleep during the procedure. The egg retrieval is done under ultrasound guidance and lasts about 15 minutes. The patient wakes up soon. She then goes to the comfort of her own home for a day of bed rest. Most women experience some mild bloating and moderate cramping which usually resolves within a day after the retrieval.
An embryo transfer is done 3-5 days after the eggs are fertilized. The transfer procedure is done while the patient is awake and feels similar to a Pap smear. After the procedures are done, there is a period of anxiety, waiting to see if all of the efforts have resulted in success. A blood pregnancy test is done two weeks after the embryo transfer and it is my job to deliver, hopefully happy, news to the new parents to be. All though the emotional journey continues on past the patient’s experience with me, it is my joy to help patients navigate their path to parenthood albeit emotional and stressful at times. Bringing home a beautiful baby at the end of the day makes my job all worthwhile and rewarding.