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Everything You Need To Know About In Vitro Fertilization

Updated on August 16, 2011

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.

Sperm is injected directly into the egg in a lab. This is called an ICSI injection.
Sperm is injected directly into the egg in a lab. This is called an ICSI injection. | Source

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).

IVF Costs

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.


Thank you for reading the article! I'm impressed you had the dedication to read it all the way through. I hope you have found, at least in part, what you were out to find, if there's anything I missed please use the comments capsule below and let me know!

Best of luck!



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    • profile image

      Wooded 7 years ago

      Very helpful hub - I have 2 beautiful nieces thanks to IVF!

    • miss_jkim profile image

      miss_jkim 7 years ago

      IVF has come a long way in the past fifteen years. I have vivid memories of a very dear friend who, after years of trying to conceive and then adopting a baby, became a candidate for IVF. In less than two years time, she miscarried two sets of twins conceived by IVF.

      It was heartbreaking.

      While attending college several years ago, a fellow student shared how she and her husband went the IVF route and became the proud parents of beautiful triplet girls.

      Most recently, within the last two weeks, a colleague of mine and his wife had to use IVF to conceive. They were just blessed with a beautiful baby girl.

      It's wonderful to see families offered this alternative to infertility. I just wish that more children were not aborted, and the opportunity was given to those who cannot afford the IVF option a chance to adopt a child. As the mother of two biological children and one adopted child, I am blessed to have had both experiences.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Thanks for sharing...

    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Thank you fucsia!

    • fucsia profile image

      fucsia 7 years ago

      Recently I had to learn all these things: my sister was subjected to IVF.

      Very informative and well written Hub!