Introduction – Let’s Talk IVF
My name is Sophia Baseotto and I am so excited that you have decided to join me for my pilot series.
So to begin with I would like to give you an overview of who I am and how I can share some information with you about IVF.
My journey began 25 years ago when I started working on the Gold Coast at a small IVF clinic. It was from here that my passion for Reproductive Science grew. The miracle of pregnancy and where it all started, fascinated me and I have enjoyed working in this field ever since.
Now when I say IVF (in vitro fertilisation), I mean this in the broadest possible sense, as this blog series will include all fertility treatments, ICSI (intra cytoplasmic sperm injection), IUI (inter uterine insemination), OI (ovulation induction), PGD (pre implantation genetic diagnosis), donor eggs and sperm, surrogacy, the whole spectrum really.
During my time in the field I have witnessed how fertility treatments have changed in Embryology (which focuses on eggs and embryos), Andrology (dealing with the sperm) and Biochemistry (blood testing) and over this time I have spoken with literally thousands of clients, from all different backgrounds, with their different stories, individual histories and expectations.
Every client is unique – age, language, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, financial capacity, single parents – even though these people are trying to achieve the same dream, of having a child of their own – their individual stories are so varied. Listening to their stories and being able to help people navigate the process is something that I wanted to share with you in my blogs.
Speaking to IVF clients over the years it became very apparent that whilst there is a large amount of information about the clinical and scientific areas, there are huge gaps in what clients really want to know and much missing about the emotional impact that IVF can have on clients.
There will be questions that you were afraid to ask, concepts that you want to clarify, during my blog series ‘Let’s Talk IVF’ I would like to take the opportunity to answer those, curly, embarrassing, crazy questions, that you would like to ask but never did! And give you behind the scenes scoop that you may be interested to know, but would never get the chance to see.
One thing that has become apparent to me over the many conversations that I had with clients, it is clear that there is a great deal of emotion, guilt, fear, anger, frustration, regret, sadness and grief is associated with IVF treatment – how to cope with this and get help is something that we will discuss here.
To give you an insight – I spoke to one client recently and in the course of a 10 minute conversation I had saved her over $10,000, she was new to IVF and in the process of our discussion it was clear that her research into donor programs was limited. Plugging into my years of experience gave her clarity, direction and tasks to follow up, she was extremely thankful for the guidance.
Another client I spoke with had 5 years of struggle trying to achieve pregnancy, when we looked at some of her lifestyle choices, it was clear that these were impacting her fertility and quality of embryos. With some assistance, this client changed her behaviours and made some lifestyle changes and within 3 months she had achieved an ongoing pregnancy.
A man I spoke with a week ago, discussed his 5th upcoming treatment cycle with me. He and his wife had 4 previous cycles without success, then decided to have a break from treatment and fell pregnant naturally. Unfortunately their child did not survive long after the birth with a 1-3 million chance genetic disorder and sadly passed away. The man was understandably distraught and the prospect of having another treatment cycle which was filling him with fear and uncertainty.
Relationships do struggle with the challenges that life throws your way generally and particularly with IVF treatment, this is a big one to encounter. Most people would expect, being able to have a child should be easy, straight forward and done without too much planning! It is natural after all and a biological right, most people assume will just happen.
The scheduling of sex, takes all the passion and spontaneity out of your love life. And the abstinence (refraining from ejaculation) seems to completely fly in the face of what you are trying to achieve, you want the pregnancy, so surely having sex and a lot of it would be helpful right! Sadly no, this is not the case and sperm samples are better with 3-5 days abstinence to give the optimal sample and best chance of success.
The whole aspect of IVF treatment is primed towards success – the development of follicles, the creation of embryos, the positive pregnancy test, the first ultrasound showing a viable embryonic sac, the heartbeat, the upward soar of HCG in your blood tests and whilst this is what you want to see straight away, for most clients sadly this is not the case and the feelings associated with this roller coaster ride are not often discussed before you jump on board and start all over again for the next cycle.
Let’s Talk IVF is for all clients – single, married, de facto, gay, lesbian – no matter what your background – everyone is welcome here and I hope that I can provide you with some valuable content, tips and information to help you on your individual journeys.
We will take a deep dive here and talk about all the things that you would like to know, the help that is available and what you can do to best prepare yourself mentally for the challenges ahead on your IVF journey.
Whilst my background is as a Scientist, I have also studied Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Time Line Therapy ™ and Hypnosis, with all this training I hope to provide you with some answers to the questions you may not have thought about and shed a little light on the things that you really want to ask.
It has been my absolute pleasure to spend time with you today and I hope you can join me for my next blog –
‘The 5 Important things you need to know for IVF’
I trust these IVF hacks will give you a little bit of inside information gathered from my years of experience and I look forward to the opportunity to share them with you.
If you do have any questions you would like me to answer or if you have any comments, please visit my website www.ivfcoachingclinic.com.au , my Facebook page IVF Coaching Clinic or you can follow me on Instagram @sophiabaseotto or @ivfcoachingclinic.
Kind Regards, Sophia