How do I start an IVF cycle?
Your first step is to request a consultation. We will contact you to schedule a consultation with one of our Fertility Specialists. You do not need a referral letter for this appointment. It is advisable that you fax or bring a copy of any previous medical records, which are relevant to your fertility.
After your consultation with the consultant, if an IVF cycle has been decided as the treatment most suitable for you, you will have a consultation with a Clinical Nurse Coordinator. At this consultation our nurse will give you a full overview and orientation of the details and procedures involved in an IVF cycle. Our nurse will also give you a step-by-step outline of what to expect during your treatment and any additional tests required.
What routine testing is required prior to IVF at
Barbados Fertility Centre?
All couples undergoing IVF at BFC require pre-cycle testing. You can contact us for a general list of these tests. The list appropriate to you will be available after your initial consultation. To schedule a consultation, please complete this form.
What are the side effects of medications used in
In general, the IVF medications used to prepare the uterus and to stimulate the ovaries only have temporary symptoms such as abdominal bloating, minor headaches, hot flushes and mood swings. The medications are not known to carry any long-term risks of cancer of the ovary, unless there is a family history of ovarian cancer. The most serious side effect would be ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).
How many eggs should I expect to get?
Your in-cycle monitoring ultrasound scans will be able to give you an accurate count of how many follicles are developing. However, not every follicle always contains an egg. Usually about 80% of follicles yield an egg. The number of eggs collected is dependant upon each patient's response, but on average, we normally obtain10 per retrieval.
Are the procedures involved in IVF painful?
The pre-IVF cycle lab work tests include drawing of blood for various tests and an evaluation of the cavity of the uterus called a saline infusion sonogram (SIS). The sonogram can be done in your gynecologist's office and you should experience minimal discomfort. You will also have injectable fertility medications, which are administered subcutaneously with a short needle. Discomfort should be tolerable.
The egg retrieval is performed through the vagina with ultrasound and a fine needle. Patients at Barbados Fertility Centre are asleep during this procedure. The procedure is known as conscious sedation. This is not a general anesthetic, but patients are not awake and they have no pain. Patients wake up very quickly after the egg retrieval, which usually lasts 15-30 minutes.
The embryo transfer procedure is similar to a Pap
smear or IUI procedure and is generally performed with minimal discomfort.
What activity restrictions should I follow after
my embryo transfer?
Once you are discharged, we recommend our patients rest the day of the embryo transfer procedure. Normal activities can be resumed the day after. We do not recommend any high-impact activities or over-exertion until the pregnancy test. We also advise patients to avoid any hot tubs/jacuzzis or hot baths during this time. Sexual intercourse can resume at any time depending on the female patient’s level of comfort after the egg retrieval.
I am on the birth control pill (BCP) and spotting
- is this normal?
Yes, breakthrough bleeding is one of the most common side-effects of the pill. If you are having any bleeding or spotting and are concerned, phone your nurse coordinator. However, it is nothing to be worried about as the medication is still having the desired effect. You still need to continue the pill every day until directed by your clinic to discontinue.
Can my endometriosis affect my fertility or IVF
Endometriosis is a medical condition where cells that usually remain confined to the cavity of the uterus, grow outside of the uterus usually on or in the ovaries and also on the surface of the pelvic cavity between the uterus and the rectum. Endometriosis can cause pelvic pain and may also decrease the chances of natural conception, as it can affect tubal function and ovulation. Patients who require IVF and who have endometriosis should still have the same chances of a successful outcome as patients of the same age without endometriosis.
types of treatments are offered at Barbados Fertility Centre?
We offer a complete range of fertility treatments from IVF and embryo freezing to our customized Healthy Body/Mind Program. To learn more, visit our Treatments page.
What about alternative treatments like
Acupuncture and Reflexology, administered by an experienced practitioner who is aware of your medical diagnoses and treatment plan, can facilitate relaxation as well as optimize ovarian response and implantation. We encourage our patients to seek assistance in these areas. Herbal medicines can be helpful but also potentially dangerous. We ask our couples to review any herbal medication with us prior to starting a course. They need to be dispensed under the guidance of an experienced practitioner.
my insurance cover the procedure and medications?
IVF is not normally covered by insurance. The average cost of IVF in the U.S. is $12,000 USD for IVF treatment alone. Our average charge is $5,750 USD to provide over 50% savings. For more information, visit our Finance section.
At Barbados Fertility Centre we understand the needs of our patients both mentally and physically and have found that patients get a great deal of support by talking to one another, they like to research the subject of infertility and find it beneficial to learn of other couple's experiences on their journey to parenthood, with this in mind we have launched www.caribbeanfertilitysupport.com a forum that is independently administrated for couples to share their experiences and discuss all the topics of fertility treatment.
Where do I stay
during my treatment?
We offer four vacations packages to suit any budget. For more information, visit our Travel and Accommodation page.
How do I get to
Many major US cities offer direct flights to Barbados. Your travel will be organized by Barbados Fertility Centre when your treatment is scheduled.
Is Barbados safe?
Barbados is one of the most Westernized Caribbean islands. Barbados is a very safe island for tourists with crime rates being the lowest in the Caribbean region, however you still need to exercise the same caution as you would at home by not leaving valuables on display and not walking around unlit roads at night.
Overall the Barbadian population is a very friendly one. With tourism being a major contribution to the economy, most Barbadians are keen to ensure that you have a good time while visiting. Barbadians are very proud of their country and love to tell visitors about their heritage and history, so please make the most of your surroundings and talk to the locals.
The water in Barbados is safe to drink as it filtered naturally through the coral limestone rock; make sure you drink plenty of it as dehydration in this hot climate can happen quite easily. You also will need to wear a high factor sunscreen as you can burn even on cloudy days. US dollars are accepted island-wide.
Learn more about Barbados on our Why Barbados page.
For a detailed look at what the beautiful island of Barbados has to offer you can also read more on Ins & Outs of Barbados.
If my cycle is unsuccessful when can I have
We recommend you take one month's break between fresh IVF cycles to allow the ovaries resume to normal before being re-stimulated. If you have frozen embryos remaining from your fresh cycle, you can choose to proceed with a frozen embryo transfer cycle without a break.
How long can my embryos remain frozen?
The HFEA in the UK, whose guidelines we follow at Barbados Fertility Centre, states that embryos can safely remain frozen for up to 5 years.
What happens if I want to use my frozen embryos
Embryos are being continuously shipped between IVF clinics worldwide for many reasons. At Barbados Fertility Center we have very stringent protocols, which we follow to prevent any damage to your embryos in transit to the clinic of your choice.