Some couples manage to get pregnant fast and easy. For others, the process isn’t as simple.
When most options fail, most people turn to in vitro fertilization as a chance to grow their families. Over five million babies have been born through IVF in the past 35 years, proving that this advanced medical technology can give hope to those who are struggling to conceive.
While you can find a wealth of information regarding IVF online, much of it is outdated or just wrong, leading to misinformation. The purpose of this article is to answer some of your most stringent questions about in vitro fertilization and, hopefully, help you make the right decision.
- What Is IVF?
Simply put, IVF is the process of fertilization where doctors combine the egg and sperm outside of the womb. It is an assisted reproductive technology (ART), done in a specialized laboratory.
At the beginning of the processes, specialists focus on stimulating the ovaries with the help of hormones. That way, they can get the biggest possible number of eggs they could use during fertilization. If the egg fertilizes, medics will transfer the resulting embryo into the woman’s uterus. Couples also have the option of freezing the fertilized egg and save it for later.
- When Should You Start?
As a general rule, couples are advised to seek help if they were trying to conceive for more than one year and weren’t successful. Keep in mind, though, that if it’s taking you longer than usual to get pregnant, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a problem. For some couples, the process is just longer than for others.
However, if you do not have a normal, regular period or if your significant other has had a vasectomy, then you should talk with your OB/GYN about your options.
For more information about when you should start considering IVF or what to expect from the process, you can access this page here.
- What Is the Best Way to Prepare for IVF
The best way to prepare for IVF is to look at your lifestyle and see what you can do to improve it. For example, if both you are your partner are smokers, then you should try to give up this unhealthy habit.
Maintaining a normal body weight should also be a priority, as obesity is a great risk and a fertility drawback. As a general rule of thumb, try to eat a healthy and diverse diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and protein. Exercise regularly as physical activity can help your body release endorphins and improve your mood. And, positivity and optimism are essential in the IVF process.
- What Are the Chances of Success?
The success of an IVF cycle depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of infertility the patient is dealing with, their health condition, and so on. However, one of the most important factors is the woman’s age – the younger the woman, the higher the chances of successful implantation.
- How Long Does an IVF Cycle Take?
It usually takes around four to six weeks to complete an IVF cycle. You get a trigger injection on day 12; then the egg is picked for fertilization on day 14. If the fertilization is successful, doctors will transfer the embryo on day 19 of the cycle. You can take a pregnancy test on day 31 to see if the procedure has been successful.
- What Are the Side Effect/Risks?
Some minor problems may occur during the process of collecting the eggs, such as infection, bleeding, and discomfort. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome can occur after some hormonal treatments. In vitro fertilization also has a significant risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy or premature delivery.
- Are There Any Health Concerns for IVF Children?
Studies show that about 4% of babies conceived through ART, such as IVF may have major congenital disabilities, such as heart and urogenital tract malformations. However, U.S. experts are pointing that these numbers are not much different from what is expected from the general population, so it stills remains a debatable topic whether IVF kids are or are not prone to certain diseases.
In vitro fertilization may seem like a terrifying process. But, with the right information at hand, you can overcome your fears and get the treatment you need to grow your family.