Is a counselor appt required before IVF?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-05-2006
Is a counselor appt required before IVF?
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 8:57pm

I am not sure what your clinic does but our clinic requires couples to meet with a counselor before starting IVF. I am just curious how other similar appointments went.

Our IVF counselor appointment went well and I really didn't know what to expect. I am not sure if it was really necessary because I knew all that but they are covering their bases. I was thinking she would cover the protocol and drug side effects. I guess not. :smileyhappy:

She talked about trickier subjects to get us thinking...

Example: The clinic usually puts back 2 but sometimes 3 depending on the case. There is a 2-4% chance that the single embryo will split after transfer to make identical twins so theoretically there is a chance to get quads with just putting 2 in. I know the chances are really low. She mentioned that with non-IVF embryos the split happens only 1-2% of the time. She wondered what we thought about keeping all babies or doing selective reduction. I think she is putting the cart before the horse. She just wanted to know if we, as a couple, could make a unified decision. She says when couples don't agree, they usually end up in divorce or marriage trouble. She doesn't care one way or another, just that we are unison in our decision. All I could think of is "Just get me pregnant first!".

She also wanted us to think about what would happen if we have extra embryos after we are all done TTC. (ex. Let them thaw and get thrown, donate to science, donate to a couple, etc).

The appointment was a lot of "what ifs". They also wanted to know if our marriage was strong because they had one instance years back where the couple was getting a divorce and on transfer day the husband said NO. I was more interested in the drugs that I will be taking and how to take them. I guess that will be another appointment closer to the time. This appointment was covered in the cost of IVF.

I was just wondering if every IVF couple has similar requirements.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-16-2009
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 9:40pm
Our clinic doesn't require it, but I think it's a good idea. I understand "just getting pregnant" is the goal you and every other person cycling has in mind, but I think sessions like this can help you think about things you need to consider.
IVF is stressful and even a very solid marriage is affected by this stress, not having my husband on the same page on these types of topics could have been catastrophic. Luckily we arrived at the same conclusions on the hot topics, even ones we thankfully never had to deal with and I was relieved to not be as stressed by the what ifs.
I wish you the best of luck, this is just one hump to get over and it seems like you made it through alright.
Sarah, 25 *IVF*First Cycle Canceled. Second Cycle Chemical Pregnancy. *Third Cycle Successful 3 weeks hospital for Pre-E. E&E born July 2010 via emergency cesarean at 34 weeks. NICU for a month. Now home & healthy. *FET with embies from cycle 3- BFN
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2011
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 9:58pm

My clinic does not require any such Counseling session....Most of these topics are covered during the IVF consult with our actual RE. I was NEVER asked about selective reduction UNTIL we actually DID become pregnant with Triplets..and we both said NO WAY......we are not "choosing" any such thing and certainly NOT risking the pregnancy. As it turned out..2 of our triplets did not make it to a Live Birth anyway.

They will always ask you, and you will actually sign papers regarding HOW you want your "extra"/frozen babies to be handled. In our first IVF remaining eggs did make it to freeze, but were not of GREAT we selected to donate them to science. Since 2 of my triplets had chromosomal issues...they used my eggs in a study. This past IVF...we decided to freeze and KEEP them for OUR future use...but sadly, none made it to frreze.

Their inference to couples that decided to divorce (and on TRANSFER day no less....) seems inappropriate! It is a stressful time for couples in general...but come on now......anyone who is considering divorce the day of transfer...... should NEVER have been there in the first place! LOL.

This session seems...well, silly. But, if they require it..just play along and PLAY NICE! HAHAHAHAHA

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-05-2006
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 10:23pm

Lindsay - I used your example during our appointment. Even if you get pregnant with triplets or higher it doesn't guarantee you will keep them full term. There are so many "what if's" in pregnancy and IVF. I am glad that your precious baby girl made it. My aunt (by marriage) was one of triplets and she was the only survivor too.

I am just glad that we didn't pay extra. I do appreciate that she was trying to get us thinking about what to do if things don't go as planned. One more thing off the check list. We also got hubby's labs done the same day so double check. :smileyhappy: Now I just need to get a pap done and that is already scheduled.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-05-2007
Fri, 09-09-2011 - 8:07am
My RE required that we visit a particular psychologist before starting a cycle. It's actually on their IVF checklist along with the injection class and meeting with the financial advisor. The psychologist they wanted us to go to was over an hour away in Philly, so I called an asked if I could use another doctor I found literally 5 minutes from our house that specializes in family therapy, infertility, and child loss. They said that was fine.

My RE wanted us to talk mainly about two points - the # of embryos we would want to transfer and selective reduction. I think they just really want you to know that multiples is a real possibility and they want you to form a plan in case you get pg with high order multiples. Our psychologist had to prepare a one page letter and fax it to my RE's office, which they will keep with our file.

Jemma (35) and DH, (37). Married October 13, 2007 and TTCing since April 2008. Dealing with PCOS, swollen tubes, and also MFI. Committing myself to getting healthy and losing weight in preparation for IVF later in 2012.