For those of you who are trying to conceive and are wary of antibiotic therapy, we understand your predicament entirely. Excessive use of antibiotics has been proven to be unhealthy and can make it difficult for your body to fight off infections. Consequently, we must understand when it is appropriate to use antibiotics to fight off sickness and when you need to let your body heal itself.
Antibiotics should only be used to kill or slow the growth of bacteria. They should not be used to treat viruses such as the common cold, flu, chicken pox, mono or bronchitis. If you are using antibiotics to treat a virus, you are only teaching your body to depend on drugs that will not heal you as effectively or consistently as your body’s natural immunity.
So, why should you ever use antibiotics during in vitro fertilization? Did you know that IVF carries a risk of infection for both the man and woman undergoing treatment? For the male partner, infection of the site of sperm retrieval could complicate recovery. During a cycle, the female partner undergoes procedures such as transvaginal egg collection (TVEC) and embryo transfer that could cause pelvic infection.
Although women with a history of previous pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and/or adnexal adhesions are at a greater risk of complications from TVEC, the transfer of an embryo to the uterus is much more likely to cause infection. Embryo replacement requires breaching the cervical mucus barrier, which can infect the uterus with bacteria from the lower genital tract.
During research from January 2002 to April 2004, Attila Toth, MD and fertility specialist, studied 52 couples. He analyzed the results of subsequent IVF cycles following antibiotic therapy with these couples after primary or multiple previously failed IVF cycles. In the conclusion of his research he stated, “a certain number of failures during IVF cycles are due to an intrauterine infection that could affect the course of the pregnancy and/or the mode of delivery.”
At CNY Fertility Center we want to give you the best odds possible for conception and a successful cycle so we do encourage antibiotic therapy with IVF treatment when appropriate. If you have any questions regarding antibiotic therapy please discuss it with your nurse or physician during your next appointment or call our office today.