Did you know that 7.3 million women and men in the U.S. are facing fertility issues?
If you’re worried about being able to get pregnant, you’re not alone. And you never have to be. Wherever you are, there’s a fertility center nearby that can provide you the care and support you may need. The In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) procedure is the process of joining a sperm and an egg outside of your body and inside a culture dish in a laboratory. Still, no matter how prepared you think you are for an IVF procedure; it’s always helpful to review the facts. Check out your guide to IVF here!
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
Rarely, your ovaries can become hyper-stimulated, resulting in great pain. This is called ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHSS). You may also have side effects from the anesthesia used in the IVF procedure. Some women have occasional bleeding and nausea after the IVF procedure.
IVF Success Rates
It may take several IVF cycles before you get pregnant. Success rates with the in vitro fertilization procedure can vary depending on your age and health status, the virility and health of your male partner, and other environmental factors.
Women in their mid-30s are at a higher risk of infertility. This risk increases as women reach age 40. There’s a greater risk of IVF procedures not resulting in a full-term pregnancy with women over 40. When donor eggs are used, your age does not affect the success rates of an in vitro fertilization procedure. There is a 55 percent transfer success rate regardless of the woman’s age.
Also, a young healthy woman has an excellent chance of progressing from stimulation to follicle aspiration and from pregnancy to delivery. However, an older woman with many causes of infertility may have a much greater rate of cycle cancellation and pregnancy loss before delivery. The above differences are not due to the fertility center performing the IVF procedure, but rather to the difference in couples (their age, health and infertility status) accepted into their program; and little can be changed to alter success rate.
There are alternatives to the traditional IVF process. Minimal stimulation IVF (also known as Mini IVF or Natural 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.