- Women's Health
Everything You Need To Know About In Vitro Fertilization
In Vitro Fertilization (What is IVF?)
Thinking about pregnancy? In Vitro Fertilization is the most commonly traveled path to effectively sidestep either male or female infertility (or both). Some readers may not be aware how common infertility (defined as a year of unsuccessfully attempting pregnancy or as the result of miscarriages) really is, and fully one third of the time there is no known cause. Happily, according to the National Women's Health Information Center, two-thirds of these couples find conclusive solace in various forms of treatment, such as IVF.
IVF is a form of medically assisted pregnancy, where a man's sperm is combined with the woman's "contents" which are aspirated from either the fallopian tubes or the uterus in a laboratory, and then inserted within the uterus once more. Read on to learn if IVF is suitable for you, or someone you know.
When And Why IVF
In Vitro Fertilization is particularly suited to women who would have problems with a live fertilization, such as fallopian tube ligation (or damaged and blocked). Additionally, men who suffer from poor quality sperm may benefit from having their sperm injected directly into the egg in the lab via an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (a.k.a an ICSI).
In Vitro Fertilization has become widespread for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is regarded as safe for both the parents and the children, during birth and after-birth. A recent European study, conducted in five countries, monitored the livelihoods of IVF children from ages 0-5 and noticed absolutely no difference between them and children fertilized in vivo. There are claims of an increase in certain genetic conditions, but I had a hard time corroborating this evidence, I would advise doing some objective research, or perhaps more effectively, asking your doctor for advice. Success rates for IVF pregnancies are largely identical to that of fertile couples.
Secondly, an IVF will reduce the chance that a women will have to operate her fallopian tubes, please note that despite statistics showing that this number is reduced by half, it is not a failsafe.
Side-effects and Contraindications
- In vitro fertilization (IVF): MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
Check under "Risks"
When Not To Opt For IVF
There are several contraindications for In Vitro Fertilization, that range from the ethical, to the economic and to the medical. Here is an at-a-glance summary, it is not a conclusive list, however (it may vary from person to person).
- As with any pregnancy, mental and somatic diseases.
- Ovarian cancer.
- Any form of Uterus tumor, including benign forms.
- Acute inflammations, anywhere.
- Uterine cavity malformations.
- Religious or philosophical conviction
- Can be quite expensive (more on this further down)
Please consult the links to the right to juice as much information as possible regarding contraindications (you'll have to speak to a doctor in the end anyway however, so you can skip it for now).
One thing is almost certain, while IVF costs will fluctuate somewhat, they will not be lower than $10,000, which as cost-effective as it is (a personal note) may prohibit some couples from benefiting from the procedure. Additional services, such as the aforementioned ICSI injection can tally up an additional $1000 on top of the orginal price. On average, you're looking at a price of around $12,000.
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Best of luck!