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What You Need to Know About IVF
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What You Need to Know About IVF

What is IVF? IVF (in vitro fertilization) is a process that helps women get pregnant who can’t become pregnant otherwise. If you have trouble getting pregnant, you may be familiar with this term. But if not, here’s a brief primer on the basics of IVF.  

IVF involves fertilizing an egg outside of a woman’s body and then transferring the embryo into her uterus. It may be used to treat infertility for both males and females. 

IVF is used to treat infertility in both men and women. Suppose your doctor has told you that they think IVF might help with your fertility issues. They may have been referring specifically to male factor infertility (when there are problems with getting sperm into the woman’s body) or female factor infertility (when there are problems with ovulation). Some people refer more broadly to “male-female” infertility because these two categories make up most cases of failed conception efforts; however, men can also be treated for their own male-specific issues and other kinds of problems that affect fertility.  

Medications are used during the IVF process.  

Medications are used to help you ovulate or for other fertility treatments. Here’s what you need to know about medicines used during the IVF procedure:  

– What exactly are they? They are drugs that help both men and women produce healthy eggs, sperm, or embryos.  

– What do they do? They can make your body release an egg from its follicles (where it’s stored) so that it can be fertilized by sperm in a lab setting. Medications can also help with issues like endometriosis and PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).  

– What are the IVF risks/ side effects? These include headaches, mood changes, abdominal pain/cramping, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, bloating/puffiness around the eyes and face, and increased breast size during the use of fertility medications such as Clomid® (clomiphene citrate).  

Other side effects may occur depending on which medicine is being taken. If you experience any side effects while taking these medications, please talk with your doctor immediately! It is important to note that when taking clomiphene citrate, there is an association between low-birth-weight babies born after IVF treatment; therefore, most physicians recommend waiting at least six months after conception before starting treatment again, even if there were no complications during prior IVF cycles.  

Eggs and sperm must be retrieved to fertilize and implant an embryo.  

Before you can get started, you’ll need to retrieve some eggs and sperm. This is done through an outpatient procedure called egg retrieval. Your doctor will perform it under general anesthesia in order to minimize discomfort during the process itself, which takes about 10 minutes and requires no incisions (since it’s performed with ultrasound guidance).  

The IVF success rate varies with age, health, and a few other factors.  

The success rate of IVF depends on a variety of factors, including age, health, and other characteristics. As you might imagine, the younger and healthier you are—and the fewer years you have toiled in infertility—the better your chances will be.  

The average success rate for women under 35 is 42%. That number drops to 24% for women over 40. Women who have been trying to conceive for fewer than five years have an average success rate of 41%. Women with no male factor infertility (like low sperm count) have an average success rate of nearly 60%. And those who are overweight or obese (BMI above 25) see their odds drop by over 25%.  

Not every woman will get pregnant through IVF.  

You may have heard that in vitro fertilization is a surefire way to get pregnant, but not every woman will get pregnant through IVF. In fact, the success rate of IVF is about 40% for women under 35 years old and drops to 2% for women over 40.  

What does this mean? Suppose you do want to pursue it as a means of getting pregnant. In that case, you should know that it’s not a guarantee of pregnancy or anything else in particular—just another tool at your disposal if you’re experiencing infertility issues.  

You don’t need to choose between using fresh or frozen embryos.  

We know you’ve been told that you can only choose between fresh or frozen embryos. But that’s a lie! Technically, they are both eggs with sperm inside them and not an actual baby, as the nurse said.  

You can use fresh embryos right away and then freeze any unneeded ones for later use. It’s great because then you don’t have to decide what to do with them until later when maybe you’re ready for another baby.  

Or if you want another baby even sooner than that—like now—then go ahead and use one of those frozen embryos! Just remember: They’ll have to thaw first before it works.  

Some insurance plans cover IVF 

Medicare covers IVF, and most insurance plans (including the Affordable Care Act) provide coverage for IVF. However, not all policies are created equal. Some offer full coverage for any fertility treatments to which you’re entitled to claim a medical need or diagnosis—but others may require that you have been trying to conceive naturally for a certain period of time before they will offer any assistance at all. And still, others might only cover your care if you belong to a specific organization such as your employer or union (often called an HMO).  

If you think you may want to pursue IVF treatment, make sure your current plan will cover it before scheduling appointments with an IVF clinic. If it doesn’t seem like your plan covers treatment options such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) and donor eggs or sperm, ask about alternative coverage options and supplemental programs that can expand the scope of services available under your current policy.  

If you’re considering using IVF to conceive, it’s worthwhile to learn all you can about the procedure and its risks, benefits, and costs 

IVF is a time-consuming process that requires patience—and often more than one attempt. It requires significant financial investment as well. The cost of just one cycle of IVF can range from $12,000 to $20,000 or more (not including physician fees).  

And while many women who pursue IVF are successful in conceiving their first child using this expensive treatment method, they may not be so fortunate on subsequent attempts—or they might need multiple cycles of treatment before successfully conceiving.  

Because there are no guarantees with any fertility treatment—including IVF—couples must understand that even though they may successfully conceive a child with IVF treatment once or twice, there is still a possibility that future attempts could result in pregnancy loss or congenital disabilities for their offspring.  

We hope this article has helped clear up some misconceptions and answer any questions you might have about IVF. If there’s anything we didn’t cover that you’re wondering about, feel free to leave us a comment below! 

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