If you are planning to undergo any kind of fertility treatments, it is extremely important for you to be well-versed with the positives as well as the odds of the treatment. Your specialist as well as the team may tell you almost every important thing that you need to know, but there still may be a fact or two that you have not learned yet.
Before diving into the lesser known facts and truths that you must know about IVF, let’s have an overview about the whole process.
Basic overview of IVF:
IVF or in-vitro fertilization is an alternative way to pregnancy for couples who cannot get pregnant in a natural way. IVF is one of the most common and widely known types of assisted reproductive art (ART). It is a lab-assisted process to help healthy sperm fertilize with egg, and then implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus.
The woman is given medication to increase the number of eggs. The fertility specialist then takes the eggs out of the body and allows it to meet with sperm in the lab, so that it fertilizes the eggs. After that, the specialist very meticulously puts one or more fertilised eggs, which is also known as embryos, into the uterus of the woman. If the embryos successfully implant in the uterine lining.
IVF definitely increases the chances of pregnancy in many couples who cannot conceive naturally, but there’s no guarantee. Sometimes, the results might not work in your favor. Sometimes IVF pregnancy can be successful at one go, whereas sometimes, the patient may need to undergo multiple cycles. Every human being is different, their dietary and lifestyle habits are different, hence IVF works differently for everyone.
Here are 10 Facts About IVF That Everyone Should Know
- IVF treatment is not uncommon.
When you have trouble getting pregnant, it feels like everyone in the family judges you. Infertility is not an uncommon issue; it affects about 12% of the population, which means you are not alone in this. When getting pregnant in a natural way seems hard, couples rely on lab-assisted fertility treatments and IVF is one of the most common treatments, which is trusted globally. More than 8 million babies have been born since the first ‘test tube’ baby.
- IVF pregnancies can be ectopic.
When fertilized eggs implant outside the uterus, it is known as ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is a risky matter and the pregnancy needs to be terminated. If left untreated, ectopic pregnancy can cause life threatening bleeding and complications. Ideally, pregnancies take place in the fallopian tube. In IVF treatment, since the embryo is directly transferred into the uterus, chances are that you would not think of it turning out to be an ectopic pregnancy. But, reality is a little disturbing here. Uterine contractions post the embryo transfer can cause the embryo to move to another place. In fact, chances of ectopic pregnancies are higher in IVF than normal conceptions.
- Using your eggs is better than using donor eggs.
It is a misconception that using your own eggs gives better results than using donor eggs. Most couples fail to realize that in either case, there is no major impact on the success of the process. Age plays a major role in deciding the success of IVF treatment. If the woman is in her late 30s or early 40s, donor eggs might need to be used for the treatment. But that will not impact the chances of live birth.
- Harvested eggs and fertilized eggs have different results.
Whether it’s harvested eggs or fertilized eggs, the specialist team will screen the eggs carefully to make sure they have everything that is required for fertilization and development of an embryo. Even if the fertility specialist team harvests 15-20 eggs, they may need to use only a small portion of these numbers to create an embryo.
- There is no guarantee.
Once the treatment begins, many couples think that they are just months away from holding their bundle of joy. Unfortunately, the reality is not always this. There is no such thing as ‘100% guaranteed results’ in IVF. The chances of a successful pregnancy depends upon the age of the woman, her eggs, her lifestyle habits and many other factors. On an average, only 35% of IVF cycle for women under 35 are successful and result in live births. The success and failure also depends on the clinic, the team, and the way the treatment is provided. Before beginning the treatment, it is extremely important to know about the live births of the IVF treatment in the clinic or hospital rather than just asking about their treatments.
- Acupuncture can increase the success of IVF.
Studies from all over the world have concluded that there is a direct connection between IVF and acupuncture. According to “The Mind-Body Connection: How Alternative Medicine Can Boost the Success of IVF”, a report published by the Reproductive Research Centre Kansas City IVF, there are plenty of evidences supporting that a healthy and happy body and mind is an important factor in deciding the success rates of IVF.
- Multiple embryo transfer in IVF increases the chances of multiple pregnancies.
This is a fact! The chances of twins or triplets increases with multiple embryo transfer in IVF treatment. But, what is more shocking and important to note here is that the chances of a single zygote splitting into two identical twins are also higher in IVF treatment.
- Your sleep pattern affects your IVF treatment.
Although it sounds simple, your sleep has a lot to offer in your IVF treatment journey. Getting good sound sleep is very important for the success of IVF treatment. Women who get less than 5 hour of sleep or sleep for more than 10-11 hours every day have lower IVF success rates than women who get sound sleep for 8 hours 7-8 hours every day. Sleeping more or less than what is needed is bad for your health here.
- IVF can take a toll on your mental health.
The process of IVF can be lengthy and stressful. No wonder, depression and anxiety comes as side effects to everyone who goes through the process. IVF can lead to new mental health issues or even worsen the existing health issues. Prioritising mental health is as important as other phases of the treatment.
- In the end, it’s worth everything.
This is a ‘mantra’ for almost everything in life that keeps us going. And, this goes for IVF too. IVF is a tedious process, it is scary, expensive and it might drain you emotionally. But, in the end, it will bless you with the family you’ve always wanted to have. Patience is the key, don;t give up if things don’t turn on your side at the very first go. Wait, hold on, and try again. Sometimes, hope and faith does more wonders than medical sciences.
In the past few years, IVF treatment has brought smiles on the faces of millions of couples. Medical advancements have revolutionised the way to parenthood for people who have almost given up hope. But, like any other treatment, it is important to know every minute detail about IVF too. Research more. Ask your doctor. Talk to couples who have undergone IVF. Go for the treatment only when you are convinced.