little boy listens and hugs belly pregnant momWhen it comes to family building, many patients in infertility treatment wonder when to go for the next baby using one of their frozen embryos and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Depending on the case and other factors, that answer may vary.

Here are some important questions you might consider while you make your decision:

How old is the birth mother?

Women don’t like to discuss age, but when it comes to infertility, age is an enormous factor for treatment. While there might be viable embryos in storage, there are other important parts of the IVF cycle that are age-dependent, including hormone balances and endometrial linings for implantation. For many women who have delayed childbirth, getting pregnant right away is a wise idea to take advantage of their fertility potential. Women 35 or younger have more time to decide.

Is your body ready for another pregnancy?

Pregnancy takes a toll physically on any woman. For women in infertility treatment, the toll may be even higher. Some studies have shown that success rates for IVF with frozen embryo transfer are higher than fresh embryo transfers because the woman’s body has had time to recover from fertility drugs and egg retrieval. Furthermore, your physical health may have changed since your last pregnancy. Be sure to consult with your doctor to make sure you have the “all clear” before you pursue your next fertility treatment cycle.

Are you ready to manage an IVF cycle and your other responsibilities?

For women who have the benefit of thinking about it, consider if you are ready to manage what’s involved with IVF treatment while having other children at home. If you are breastfeeding still or if you have a job outside the home working on a particularly demanding project (read: long hours, lots of travel), the timing probably isn’t right just yet.

What does your financial picture look like?

Unfortunately, very little, if any, fertility treatment is covered by insurance. That means most patients pay for their infertility treatment out of pocket. Before you start a new round of expenses, it’s a good idea to consider your budget and financial plan. There are not only treatment costs to consider, but also the additional expenses with a larger family and childcare costs if both parents work outside the home.

Will having another child work with your career?

Many patients of mine have careers. All women, whether they are in infertility treatment or not, must consider how having children will affect their work schedule. Will the father be able to pick up the kids from childcare if you are working late? Do you have leeway in your travel schedule to accommodate another baby? These are important considerations for all parents who are thinking of expanding their family, in or out of fertility treatment.

Each family is different, and every case has a unique set of circumstances surrounding it. Provided that age-related fertility is not a factor, these five areas can help you decide when will be the right time. If not now, then at least you have an idea of what you need to figure out before you add another child into the mix.

For patients with frozen embryos in storage, the question naturally comes up, “Are we ready to add any more children to our family?” For many of my IVF patients, considering each of these five areas is a great start for a realistic family-building conversation.


“Are You Ready for Another One?” August 2011. Web. 10 March 2015.

“13 Signs You Are Ready for a New Baby.” Web. 10 March 2015.

Relevant, Julie. “7 Things You Should Consider Before Having Another Baby.” 16 May 2012. Web. 10 March 2015.