Treatments & Options - IVF
Searching for information on in vitro fertilization? In vitro fertilization (commonly called IVF) is a fertility treatment used by couples that are unable to get pregnant by other means.
How IVF works
IVF treatment demands a high level of expertise and attention to detail, as well as a precise coordinated effort between you, your partner, and your IVF team. Here is how IVF works:
- An egg is taken from your ovary, and healthy sperm are selected from a sample produced by your male partner (or sperm donor). Some couples may also use an egg donor during IVF.
- The egg and sperm are mixed together in a culture dish where fertilization takes place.
- The resulting embryo is transferred into your uterus.
Risks of IVF
Overall, experts report few serious complications from IVF medications and procedures. However, as with any medical procedure, in vitro fertilization can carry uncomfortable side effects and occasional risks. If you experience any side effects with IVF, let your doctor know.
IVF success rates
IVF does boast rather good success rates. At times, however, miscarriage may still occur with IVF. The miscarriage rate following IVF treatment is generally the same as occurs in the general population, and the risk increases with the mother’s age. Miscarriage rates typically range from about 15 percent for a 20-year-old woman to over 50 percent for women over 40.
There are alternatives to the traditional IVF process. Minimal stimulation IVF (also known as Mini IVF or Micro IVF) offers infertile couples an alternative to the traditional IVF procedure. Some people choose Mini IVF for the following reasons:
- Mini IVF requires you to take less medication than traditional IVF.
- Mini IVF costs less than traditional IVF.
- Mini IVF requires less of a time commitment than traditional IVF.
Pregnancy success rates tend to be lower with Mini IVF, but some couples still choose this method due to the other benefits listed above.
When pregnancy does not come easily, couples that undergo the IVF procedure strongly believe that it’s a commitment worth making. Couples focus many hopes and fears about fertility and pregnancy into this one procedure. Due to the emotional intensity of IVF, it is helpful to learn all you can about the process to put your mind at ease—so you can focus on getting pregnant. If you choose IVF, know that the chances of making a baby are on your side.