Tandem Cycle
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Tandem Cycle

Tandem IVF

The Tandem Cycle is an IVF treatment option for women in the older age brackets who have diminished ovary reserves. The Tandem cycle provides an opportunity to have a chance at pregnancy with one's own eggs, with donor eggs being the backup plan.

Women with diminished but not completely depleted ovarian reserves are suitable candidates for this treatment option. Women with previous IVF failures or women in older age groups may also be suitable for this treatment under certain conditions.

Who is a suitable candidate for tandem IVF treatment? 

The Tandem Cycle in IVF refers to treatment where the patient and an egg donor are given medication to stimulate their ovaries at the same time. Gynolife is one of the best clinics in the world to adopt the Tandem treatment in order to give the patient a chance of pregnancy with her own eggs while simultaneously preparing a donor as a back-up plan.

The Tandem Cycle can be used by women with diminished ovarian reserves who do not respond optimally to IVF treatment. Alternatively, it can be a solution for women who have had repeated IVF failures with their own eggs. The principle of a tandem cycle IVF is to provide the patient with as many good quality eggs as possible so that a positive result can be achieved. 

While the patient undergoes IVF treatment to produce oocytes (eggs), there is also an egg donor who undergoes similar treatment to produce a number of eggs for the patient (recipient) to use. By combining the eggs of the two women, one has the chance to have a greater number of usable eggs during the IVF cycle. 

Tandem IVF after the age of 40

Tandem IVF is an assisted reproduction treatment that consists of simultaneously fertilizing the eggs of the donor and those of the patient. The tandem IVF process attempts to overcome the problem of low ovarian reserve. This is a procedure that women in their 40s generally have to resort to, who are less likely to conceive with their own eggs.

As women age, fertility declines for two reasons:

  1. low ovarian reserve

  2. poor egg quality

This treatment involves two IVF cycles – that of the egg donor and yours. Your doctor will collect a) your eggs and b) donor eggs after the planned treatment (ovarian stimulation).

Who may consider starting tandem IVF?

Success with IVF treatments is like a multi-variable equation, so the more information we have about important factors, the more effective an evaluation is. Just like in other fertility treatments, the starting point of a tandem IVF treatment cycle is a test. 

Since the patient will undergo ovarian stimulation to produce oocytes, we will need to do an assessment of ovarian function so that our fertility specialists can design an appropriate treatment protocol that optimizes the outcome of your IVF treatment. The center requires the following information as a first step in treatment:
-A recent hormonal profile of the patient. These are the FSH, LH, Estradiol, Prolactin, TSH and AMH hormone tests to be administered on day 2 or day 3 of the menstrual period. These tests will give us information about the patient's ovarian reserves and level of fertility.
- A trans-vaginal ultrasound for ovarian and uterine evaluation. With this analysis, our specialists will need to know how many antral follicles exist in each ovary. With the uterine assessment part, we want to make sure there are no visible issues that can interfere with a successful pregnancy (such as fibroids, polyps, free fluid in the uterus, or structural issues). and morphological).
- Information about the regularity of the menstrual cycle, if menstrual cycles have become irregular, this could be an indication of menopause or ovarian failure. The patient's hormonal tests mentioned above will be used to confirm such a diagnosis, if any.
- A semen analysis report for the male patient with the following parameters: Volume, number, mobility, morphology, pH and number of round cells. The semen sample should be provided after 3 or 4 days of abstinence. Shorter or longer periods of abstinence are not desired.
The first thing would be to get as much information as possible regarding your infertility assessment, and then we'll identify the next steps.
Once the assessment has been completed, we will request that the patient complete our donor/recipient form in order to initiate an efficient donor matching process.

Benefits of the tandem cycle

A tandem cycle allows you to receive a lower dose of medication, as you will only need a few good quality eggs. At the end of the IVF cycle, couples can choose a combination of their own eggs and donor eggs to use for embryo transfer. It also allows you to start with your own eggs and freeze donor eggs for a future cycle without having to pay for two separate cycles if you have a sufficient number of eggs with good quality.

A tandem cycle is a great option for older women and for women with high FSH, so with diminished ovarian reserve levels. It can be thought of as investing in two different stocks to cut costs in half, so risk is minimized. 

A tandem cycle gives you the option of using your own eggs as well as young, healthy eggs in a single IVF cycle. The steps involved in a tandem IVF cycle are exactly the same as an “IVF with ICSI” treatment. The only difference is that you have an extra set of eggs to use at the end of the procedure. However, just like in an egg donation cycle, attention is paid to the following features:

-Physical characteristics of the female patient (skin, hair and eye color)
- Photo of the female partner for a more accurate match
- Blood type of the female and male partner.

- Information about the menstrual period of the patient

Process of Tandem Cycle

In a tandem cycle, you will end up with two groups of eggs, your own eggs and those of your donor. Legally, we can transfer up to three embryos in a given cycle, so since both groups of eggs result in viable embryos for transfer, you will be able to determine the number of your own embryos and the number of embryos created with a donor. You will be able to choose the eggs you wish to transfer.

As with the egg donation process, the treatment of the patient and the donor begins during the period of menstruation. Unlike egg donation, this time the patient will also use egg developer needles applied from the navel. 

As a result of the assessment, if there are any remaining problems that need to be corrected before treatment, they should be eliminated and some vitamins should be started during the preparatory period.

The most appropriate treatment protocol for you is determined by taking into consideration your test results and previous treatments. For the treatment, protocols of 3 weeks called long protocols or short protocols of less than 2 weeks (between 11 and 13 days on average) in general which begins during the period of menstruation and called short protocols can be chosen. Ultrasounds and blood tests will be necessary at regular intervals at the start of treatment and during treatment (3 to 4 ultrasounds over a period of 11 to 13 days and 2 blood tests will generally be necessary for short protocols).

The dose of the egg developing needle will be determined by your doctor based on your egg supply, age, weight and if there are any based on how your ovaries have responded to previous treatments.

The maturation needle period called needle crisp is performed with needles made from the navel, once they have reached the size and sufficient number of eggs.

What should you pay attention to when selecting the donor?

As in egg donation, the blood group compatibility in the donor match is provided by us. When selecting your donor, outward appearance characteristics (height, weight, skin color, eye color, body type, age, etc.) are determined based on the characteristics you want and a proper match is made. carried out. For this reason it is useful to take into account your characteristics and those of your partner, or the characteristics of other family members.

Tandem IVF Cycle Success Rates

With a Tandem Cycle is similar to success rates with donor eggs. This is because the patient receives embryos made with their own eggs as well as donor eggs. If the pregnancy does not result with the own eggs, the donor eggs act as a backup. 

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