If your partner is not HIV-positive and you do not have any specific fertility problems, you do not necessarily have to undergo an ART treatment at the CRG. You can organise the fertilisation at home by self-insemination.
If you choose to do this, it is best to ask your fertility doctor for advice. Some technical procedures when carrying out self-insemination may increase your chances of success.
Just as with natural fertilisation, you may need to try several times before you become pregnant using this method.
If you do not succeed in becoming pregnant with self-insemination, or if you do not wish to use this method, the CRG will help you with another type of ART treatment: IUI, IVF or ICSI.
Which method is best for you depends on your fertility problem. The CRG doctor who is treating you will discuss your options during consultation.
Proper medical support reduces the risk of your baby becoming infected. The use of antiretroviral medication is generally necessary, certainly in the last three months of pregnancy and during delivery. The medication is intended to keep the amount of HIV virus in the body as low as possible and to minimise the risk of transmission to the baby.
If you take this medication, the course of your pregnancy will be similar to that of an uninfected woman. However, since you are more likely to have certain complications, we will provide closer monitoring.
The risk of transmission of the virus to the baby is greatest during delivery. As soon as the waters break, the baby comes into contact with the virus present in the mother’s body.
The more virus in the body and the longer the baby is exposed to it, the greater the risk of transmission.
However, if the viral load is suppressed by the medication, a vaginal delivery is the first choice. A caesarean section is then only necessary in case of obstetric problems.
On the other hand, if the HIV virus can be detected at the time of delivery, the obstetrician will be more likely to opt for a caesarean section.
So long as your pregnancy has been adequately monitored and the baby has been delivered under proper medical supervision, the risk of infection is very small. Nevertheless, your baby will be monitored in the first two years of his/her life. This will be done by a paediatrician connected to the AIDS reference centre.
To find out whether your child is infected or not, a number of blood tests need to be performed:
- at birth;
- at three weeks of age;
- after two to three months;
- after six, twelve and eighteen months.
If no virus is detected after three blood tests, there is a good chance the child is not infected. The final blood test after 18 months provides the definitive result.
After birth, the baby is given medication in the form of a syrup. The choice of medication and how long depends, above all, on your viral load at the time of delivery.
Unfortunately, breastfeeding is not recommended. As the risk of infection is too great, bottle feeding is recommended.