What you should know about IVF treatment

As infertility has become a widespread problem, more and more people are relying on the medical technique called In Vitro Fertilization or IVF. Couples tend to plan pregnancy later in life, which is probably the main reason for infertility, along with the high incidence of sexually transmitted diseases. When a couple decides to undergo IVF treatment, they must be prepared for the difficult times ahead. Knowing a few things about IVF before starting the process can help you be prepared for the results.

Here are some things to know about IVF treatment before you take the plunge:

1. IVF success rate

There are several factors that determine the success rate of IVF, which can vary from couple to couple. These factors include age, lifestyle, and the cause of a particular couple’s infertility. As a general rule of thumb, those under 30 have a 50% chance of success, while for people over 40, the chances can drop drastically to 20%. However, things are looking up as there has been a huge improvement in technology.

2. Drop in fertility in women

As a woman reaches the age of 35, her fertility begins to decline at a rapid rate, both in terms of egg quantity and quality. A blood test called AMH can be done to find out the number of eggs produced in a woman, although it does not reveal much about their quality.

3. Reduced fertility in men

Just like women, men also experience a drop in fertility rate as they age. Although men continue to produce sperm, sperm quality deteriorates as they pass their forties and can lead to problems related to infertility. In addition, sperm from older men lack motility, quantity, and are prone to DNA damage, which can lead to birth defects in offspring.

4. It is better to act fast

Couples should not wait too long to seek help for suspected infertility. Those under 35 years of age should see a specialist if they fail to conceive within 12 months of the attempt, while those over 35 years of age should conceive only after 6 months.

5. IVF costs are high on financial and emotional factors

The IVF process is not only taxing on the pocketbook, it also takes a toll on physical and emotional health. It can cause symptoms like fatigue, mood swings, and headaches, not to mention the stress you have to endure while waiting for the outcome of the process.

6. It is better to freeze eggs at a younger age

Women should freeze their eggs before they cross the age of 35 and use them for their first and subsequent pregnancies, as these eggs give them the best chance of IVF success.

7. Timing of IVF treatment

The right timing of treatment according to the woman’s cycle plays a key role in the success of the IVF process. Also, a pregnancy test should be done only two weeks after the transfer of the embryo to the uterus.

8. Risks involved in IVF treatment

Although IVF is considered a safe process, around 1% of IVF patients are susceptible to a condition called ovulation hyperstimulation syndrome. It means that a woman produced too many eggs after hormone treatment. However, the use of low doses of drugs has minimized the risk.

9. Success is not guaranteed

Although IVF has revolutionized fertility treatments, it still does not offer guarantees, as many other unexpected problems can hinder its success. Those couples who have repeatedly failed may eventually have to make do with no success. Counseling can help them face reality.

10. It is possible to complete the whole family with a single cycle

Innovation in medical science has made it possible for couples to complete the entire family with a single cycle. They can do this by having the first child in a cycle and freezing the embryos for subsequent pregnancies, to be used at a later stage.

In general, it is now possible to know if IVF is for a couple or not, since they can get to know in a few tries if they are likely to ever see a positive result.

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