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9 Things You Need To Know About IVF

Learn about nine different things you may not have known about In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

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1. Say What?

Jade Albert Studio, Inc. / Getty Images / Via womenshealth.gov

According to UNICEF, about 130 million babies are born each year. With that many babies being born each year it does not seem like there would be an infertility problem among women. However, 80 million couples worldwide have trouble conceiving a child on their own. Of those 80 million, 6.1 million couples are right here in the United States. They are unable to conceive because of fertility problems. If a woman under the age of 35 cannot conceive or sustain a pregnancy, she is determined to be infertile. Women over 35 are considered infertile if they cannot conceive within six months.

2. In V What?

Via hindawi.com

When couples have trouble conceiving, they turn to assisted conception methods to have a chance of becoming parents. There are many different forms of assisted conception methods such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), or Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). Of the three, IVF is the most common procedure couples decide to use in the U.S. 1% of all babies born in the U.S. were a result from IVF. In the process, eggs and sperm are collected from the female and male respectively. The egg is fertilized with the sperm, and then the viable eggs are transferred to the uterus to grow. If the trial is successful, the end result will be a baby.

3. Having a Child is Unethical?

Via thehastingscenter.org

Surprisingly, having a baby is not something one would consider to be unethical; however, to some using procedures like IVF are inmoral. The procedure is seen as unethical because fertilized eggs are disposed of when they are not thought to survive. People see this as abortion because to some life begins at the moment the egg is fertilized. However, the argument is made that not all of the eggs can be implanted because a lot of them would not survive and would not develop. The healthiest eggs are chosen to increase the success rate of IVF.

4. Why IVF?

Via netdoctor.co.uk

Many will ask why people will go through IVF treatments, but there are many reasons like infertility problems. Infertility can occur in both women and men. The reasons vary from person to person, but women can have problems when ovulating. Some women do not ovulate when necessary which means there would be no egg for the sperm to fertilize. Cases of endometriosis is also a common cause for infertility among women. Endometriosis is where the lining of the uterus grows on the outside as opposed to it growing in the inside. These problems prevent a woman from getting or sustaining a pregnancy. This will cause these women to turn to IVF to increase their chance of getting pregnant.

5. Boy vs. Girl

Via jme.bmj.com

Another reason couples turn to IVF is for gender selection. Gender selection is where the parents choose what gender the baby they want to have will be. This process is done by collecting eggs and sperm from the couple fertilizing the egg in a lab. Once the egg is mature enough to determine the sex of the embryo, the embryo with the desired sex is then implemented into the uterus. This procedure has been proven to be 100% success rate. Many will ask why someone would go through all of this just to have a certain gender of a child? Well many people will believe it is done just for personal reasons against or for a a gender; however, many couple go through this to avoid sex-linked diseases getting passed on to their child. Diseases like muscular dystrophy and hemophilia are sex-linked disorders that do not have a cure. By using IVF, they are preventing their child from having a incurable disorder.

6. Adoption vs. IVF

Karen Roach / Via Baby Center Medical Advisory Centre Board. “Fertility Treatment: In Vitro Fertilization.”

For those against the use of IVF treatments will argue that adoption is always an option. Of course adoption is an option, but adoption is not for everyone. Adoption can be a long, tedious, and emotional journey. The process of adoptiong a child can take up to seven years before a couple is approved to adopt. Adoption can also be more expensive than IVF treatment. The adoption process is estimated to cost $40,000 while the cost of IVF treatment is about $12,000. Many couples also prefer giving IVF a try before turning to adoption. Many want a child of their own and IVF gives them a chance. Couples want a faster and less expensive process and that would be IVF.

7. Cancer

Via webmd.com

Much like any other medical procedure that includes drugs there are down-sides to going through the treatment. With IVF, the women take hormones before the treatment to increase their chances of conceiving and sustaining the pregnancy. However, the intake of the hormones has shown to increase the risk of developing Ovarian Cancer. Becuase the hormones cause the ovaries to produce and somtimes overproduce eggs, it can sometimes result in the woman developing cancer. However, IVF treatment only increases the risk by one-third. In other words, the treatment increases the risk and does not necessarily mean the woman will develop cancer later on in life. Many women knowing this are not discouraged in going through with the treatment. The odds are in their favor because there is two-thirds of a chance that they won't be affected.

8. To Be or Not To Be?

Via resolve.org

Much like any treatment, there is always a chance that the procedure does not work. Many times with IVF multiple trials have to be done before a successful pregnancy takes place. Sometimes the treatment does not work at all for a person. It depends on an individual's health; however, IVF has a 40% success rate. This is a pretty high rate considering a woman with no IVF or other assisted conception treatment have a success rate of 15%-20% in a month. Comparing the two, a woman going through IVF has a greater chance at getting pregnant than someone who is not going through an assisted conception method.

9. Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby OH!

No no this is not the Justin Bieber song, but rather a glimmer of hope for those suffering through infertility problems. The main purpose of IVF is to have a baby. IVF gives couples a chance to achieve their goal of becoming parents. As technology advances, the success rate of IVF treatment is bound to increase. IVF may not always work for everyone; however, it has worked for millions across the world.

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