Getting pregnant for some couples isn’t as easy as it is for others. This can be a tough obstacle to overcome even after a significant of time is spent trying to conceive. It can be hard to consider any other options to bring a child into your life.
After not having had much luck with natural conception, you might want to research treatment and other fertilization options. In this article, you’ll learn about in vitro fertilization (IVF) and how it’s an alternative option for getting pregnant.
Who needs IVF?
There are several different situations that can lead a couple to decide to try IVF. Issues can be attributed to one or both parties involved and can include:
- Issues with fallopian tubes
- Male infertility issues
- Ovulation and other disorders
What is the success rate?
IVF is the most affective way for a couple to get pregnant with assitance. According to the American Pregnancy Association, women under 35 have a success rate of 41-43%. As a woman ages, the success rate does go down. For example, women over 40 have only a 13-18% success rate.
Doctors and clinics may publish their personal success rates for IVF, but don’t let that statistic fool. Some doctors and clinics may turn away patients with a lower probability of success to maintain their higher success rate.
Can the success rate be increased?
This is a great question to ask the doctor you choose to get their opinion. While there is no guarantee of increasing chances of success with IVF, there are some common factors that have been said to assist with resulting in a successful pregnancy.
- Previous pregnancy. Having a previous pregnancy under your belt may increase your chances of having a successful pregnancy using IVF. It may even be slightly higher if the previous pregnancy was with the same partner who is going through IVF with you.
- Healthy lifestyle. The definition of healthy can be interpreted differently from person to person. In the case of increasing odds for a successful pregnancy, it means quitting smoking if you’re a smoker and losing weight in you’re considered overweight among other things.
- Using a donor. Using a donor egg and/or sperm may increase your chances, especially for couples that are older. You have the option to have a friend or loved one donate for you. If this is something you may consider, there is more information about the donation process here.
- Freezing eggs. If you’re in a younger age group, you might consider freezing your “younger eggs” in case you want to use them for IVF if it’s needed later down the road on your pregnancy journey.
What can I expect?
To begin, you can expect a doctor to give you a timeline for the IVF process. You’ll likely need to inject hormones for several days at specific time(s) to prepare your eggs to be extracted, which is done through an outpatient procedure. At the time of extraction, males are asked to produce a sperm sample to be used for insemination.
The hormone injections may cause some mild side effects that are similar to what is experienced during the menstrual cycle. They may be different symptoms than what you normally experience during your period but can still be normal. Your doctor can inform you of more serious side effects to be aware of.
Several days later after the insemination, you’ll return to have the fertilized embryo(s) transferred to the uterus. You’ll likely discuss ahead of time how many embryos will be placed. It is possible for successful IVF implantations to result in pregnancies of multiples if more than one embryo is inserted in the uterus.
Let’s try IVF!
If you’ve decided IVF is the route you want to take to pregnancy, be sure to ask your doctor all these questions and more. You may have friends who have gone through this process that can offer valuable insight. Despite other side effects, when IVF is successful you’ll experience the side effect you actually want, a pregnancy.
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