The following is a list of frequently asked questions that we receive. If your question is not answered here, do not hesitate to call us.
Q. How common is it to have trouble getting pregnant?
One out of every 6 or 7 women needs some help getting pregnant. FSAC’s patients come from all over the world and include people of all ethnic groups and ages. Often couples suspect that infertility stems from the female partner, but in about 4 out of every 10 cases, male infertility is the key factor. That’s why both partners must participate in fertility testing from the start, so that doctors can assess the problem and begin treatment right away.
Q. How long should we wait before making an appointment?
If you’ve been trying to conceive for a year without success, the doctors at FSAC recommend you make an appointment for a fertility evaluation. We recommend that you come in even sooner if you are a woman over 30 and have medical issues that might interfere with fertility or if you have irregular or painful periods or a history of miscarriage, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine fibroids, or ovarian cysts.
Q. Will I be assigned to one doctor, or might I see all of them eventually?
You receive regular care from your primary physician, who will personally follow your care every step of the way. Depending on your individual situation, we may also recommend that you consult with other partners in our practice. For example, Dr. Buyalos is recognized for his work in aging issues and polycystic ovary syndrome. Dr. Hubert is an expert in laser laparoscopy techniques for treating pelvic endometriosis and tubal disease. Dr. Shamonki is an expert in maximizing IVF outcomes, third party and transgender fertility, and minimally invasive surgery.
Q. I am coming to FSAC from outside of the country. What do I need to know?
We are honored that so many of our patients travel long distances to be cared for by our doctors, and we’re available to answer all of your questions about transportation, lodging, and the logistics of your treatment. The frequency of your visits will depend on your individual treatment plan. Because of our close proximity to Los Angeles, our location offers a variety of places to stay close to our facility and things to do while you are under our care.
Q. How likely is it that I’ll conceive?
Our use of advanced medical technology means that it more likely than ever for couples with infertility to conceive, and our pregnancy rates are among the best in the United States. FSAC’s doctors carefully evaluate each couples probability of becoming pregnant, and we will be frank about your chances of conceiving with our help. The chances of success depend on many factors, from the age and health of the couple to the quality of the sperm and eggs. Click here to review our pregnancy rate statistics.
Q. I’ve heard that fertility treatment can be rough. Is there anything we can do to make it easier?
Fertility treatment can be overwhelming. Our doctors understand that some of the procedures can be physically uncomfortable and expensive. You may be more emotional than usual during treatment and feel frustration at the loss of privacy. These feelings and frustrations are normal, and our doctors and staff have helped many patients through the emotional side of fertility treatment. FSAC offers a Liaison Network to connect couples who would like additional support, and we can offer consultation with psychologists who specialize in working with infertile couples.
Q. I’m over 40. Should we still try?
Absolutely! These days, many women over 40 are having babies. The chances of pregnancy do decrease with age, and more advanced techniques may be required, but if you want a baby, then it is well worth making the effort.
Q. I already have a child. Does that impact the kinds of treatment I’ll have?
Nearly one quarter of our patients have already had at least one child. In fact, some people wait longer than needed to seek help because they think that they should have no trouble getting pregnant again. So, if you’ve been trying unsuccessfully for a year to have a child, we’d like to help you.
Q: When can I dye my hair?
A: You can dye your hair at any time during the IVF process or while pregnant.
Q: Can I get acrylic nails?
Q: Can I travel/ fly/ go up to the mountains while I am pregnant?
You may travel, including fly, while pregnant. Please avoid exertion if traveling to altitudes above 6,000 ft.
Q: When can I exercise after my IUI (Inter-uterine insemination), OPU (Oocyte Retrieval), or Embryo Transfer?
You may resume exercising as tolerated. Please limit your exercise to low impact activities and avoid overexertion.
Q: When can I resume having intercourse once I am pregnant?
You may resume intercourse once a heartbeat is seen, unless there is vaginal bleeding.
Q: Can I lift my 2 year old?
Q: Is there any danger with my cats?
Please do not change the litter box while pregnant.
Q: Can I ski/ swim/go to an amusement park/ horseback ride while cycling/pregnant?
It is best to avoid “jarring” activities or activities which put you at risk for a fall while pregnant.
Q: Can I have alcohol, chocolate, caffeine while I am cycling/ pregnant?
Please avoid alcohol while pregnant. One cup of coffee daily and moderate chocolate consumption is fine during pregnancy.
Q: What foods should I avoid in pregnancy?
Please avoid foods made from unpasteurized milk, raw fish, raw meats, or fish high in mercury; such as, tuna, mackerel, tilefish, shark, swordfish (Fish low in mercury, may be eaten in moderation.) For more information available from the CDC, FDA, and EPA websites, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/fishadvice/advice.html
Q: What meds can I take while cycling/pregnant? Allergy, cold, nausea, migraine, constipation, thyroid, metformin?
You may take Claritin, Benadryl for allergies, phenergan or Zofran for nausea (please use sparingly), Tylenol for fevers, Sudafed for congestion, Colace or fiber supplements for constipation. Continue with thyroid medication and metformin as prescribed. Please do NOT take any “triptan” medications used for migraines such as Imitrex, Zomig, and Maxalt.
Q: I missed my Clomid or injection last night, should I make it up this am?
Please call the office to determine if a “make up” dose is necessary.
Q: I didn’t give myself enough medication last night, should I make it up this am?
Please call the office to determine if a “make up” dose is necessary.
Q: The progesterone supplements and the estrogen patches say not to use if I am pregnant. Should I still continue my meds?
Yes, the progesterone and estrogen supplementation is an essential part of the treatment.
Q: Why do I have to take progesterone after my IUI?
Progesterone helps support the pregnancy. Occasionally some women can make an inadequate amount of progesterone. Supplementation assures appropriate progesterone levels should pregnancy occur.
Q: If I’m taking prenatal vitamins, do I need any other supplements?
No. The only caveat is if extra folic acid is necessary for various medical indications (history of child with neural tube defect, elevated homocystiene levels.
Q: When should I resume prenatal vitamins after taking methotrexate?
You may resume prenatal vitamins after the beta-hCG levels become negative.
Q: At what point should I begin prescription strength prenatal vitamins?
It is best to start on prenatal vitamins (prescription or over the counter) as soon as you are trying to conceive.
Q: Can I get a flu vaccination?
Q: Can I continue to take my antidepressant/ up until what point?
Please review the antidepressant with your physician.
Q: Can I take herbs, which ones?
Avoid herbs during ovulation induction or IVF unless prescribed for fertility.
Q: Can I have dental work, xrays, novacaine, when I am cycling/pregnant?
Yes. Please inform the health care provider that you are pregnant or are trying to conceive.
Q: Can I get acupuncture/ chiropractic adjustment/ massage?
Yes. Please let your healthcare provider know that your are pregnant or are trying to conceive.
Q: I’m due for my pap, can Dr. Buyalos/ Dr. Hubert/ Dr. Kumar/ Dr. Shamonki do it during one of my appointments?
Yes, please check with your insurance for coverage.
General / IVF
Q: Why do you do luteal labs if they don’t tell us anything?
Luteal labs (estradiol and progesterone) give us information on how to adjust the supplementation dosage. These labs do not provide information on the possibility of a pregnancy.
Q: When can I resume treatment after miscarriage/methotrexate?
You may resume treatment with the menstrual cycle which starts after the beta-hCG levels become negative.
Q: What should I do if spotting occurs during my OCPs/ stimulation/ luteal phase?
A small amount of spotting is common during this time.
Q: What should I do if spotting occurs when preganant?
A small amount of spotting is common during this time. However, for significant bleeding, or uterine cramping, please call our office.
Q: Can I do back to back IVF cycles, or IVF/FET cycles?
It is possible to do “back to back” cycles depending on the findings (ultrasound and lab tests) at the beginning of the cycle.