Myths and Facts of Invitro Fertilization (IVF)
- Research states that when women are on a high protein and low carbohydrate diet during IVF treatment, the success rate is increased
- A healthy night sleep of women is said to be linked with positive results of the IVF cycle
- Every year about 10,000 people go abroad for IVF treatment
- The success rate of IVF depends on the age of the woman undergoing treatment
IVF or In vitro fertilization is the process of making the egg get fertilized with the sperm in a lab and then the early embryo is reintroduced into the womb of the woman. Far back in 1978, “Louise Brown'', the first test-tube baby through IVF was born. Since then millions of babies have been born through this technique.
The reason for the existence of many myths and misconceptions of IVF and other related fertility techniques is the lack of knowledge about the techniques. Once these misconceptions are cleared, it will help you to overcome the social stigma that is linked to these procedures.
Let's discuss some of the myths and facts related to IVF treatment.
In this article
Myth # 1
“IVF- Is the one solution to all of my infertility problems”.
Fact: IVF is one of the commonly followed assisted reproductive procedures. You can also get pregnant with the help of other procedures like ovulation induction (OI) using fertility drugs, intrauterine insemination IUI.
Myth # 2
“Only rich people can afford IVF treatment”.
Fact: Though IVF is a little expensive procedure, it is an affordable one as well. You can save for IVF as you plan to save for other intensive surgeries. For making IVF affordable to every person, some clinics provide payment in instalments, while in some places you even get insurance coverage for IVF.
Myth # 3
“I am above 40 years, and cannot go for IVF, as it is only for younger couples!”.
Fact: We know that age is the main factor that determines fertility and chances of getting pregnant is lower in older women when compared to young women. But with IVF, even post-menopausal women can have a baby just like the younger women. IVF gives a golden opportunity for older women to make use of donor eggs of young women.
In a comparative study done to see the IVF success rates in women aged > 40 years and women aged less than 40 years, it is indicated that older women seeking IVF should understand that chances of getting pregnant decrease with their age. The study results show that in women > 40 years, pregnancy and live birth rates fall and there is a rise in miscarriage and cycle cancellation rates .
Myth # 4
“With IVF, I get a 100% successful pregnancy!”
Fact: IVF has a success rate of 40% if you are 35 or younger. Your IVF success rate largely depends on your age, the reason for infertility, and other hormonal and physical conditions.
Myth # 5
“My baby may be born with some birth defects, low weight, or delayed fetal development, as I conceived through IVF.”
Fact: The risk of having birth defects in IVF baby is very low. When you have a baby through IVF, the baby might be a little smaller than that of a baby conceived naturally and still IVF baby is in the normal range. Many studies have not found any increased risk of birth defects in babies conceived through IVF.
A retrospective study of 2444 live births from IVF-ICSI cycles was done to evaluate and compare the occurrence of birth defects. It was seen that IVF-ICSI babies do not have any significantly higher rate of birth defects when compared to that of naturally conceived babies .
Myth # 6
“I read somewhere that, IVF is not safe”.
Fact: IVF is a completely safe procedure and only less than 2% of patients may be at risk of showing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
Myth # 7
“IVF brings about multiple pregnancies”
Fact: Reducing the number of embryos that are transferred to the uterus particularly in younger women, can minimize this risk.
A retrospective study of 130 patients having a previous cesarean scar was done with a focus on elective single embryo transfer versus double-embryo transfer. It was shown that elective single-embryo transfer to be the accepted method to avoid multiple pregnancies and bring about improved neonatal and obstetric outcomes in IVF patients having a history of past cesarean scar .
Myth # 8
“I may require hospitalization after IVF treatment”
Fact: You need to stay at the hospital only on the day of egg collection for IVF. Overnight stay at the hospital is not mandatory and IVF outcome might be better even without taking bed rest.
Myth # 9
“Am a man and IVF is only for women and not for me”.
Fact: IVF is both for you and your partner. When your partner cannot become pregnant because of your low sperm count or poor sperm motility, there are techniques like Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), Intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI), and Physiological intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (PICSI)
Myth # 10
“Does IVF conception lead to Cesarean section delivery?”
Fact: This is not true and the truth is that you can deliver your baby through normal vaginal delivery. IVF baby is just similar to the baby that is conceived naturally and it is not an indication for a cesarean section.
For the couples having severe fertility issues and those with advanced age, certainly, IVF is a boon to have a baby successfully. This article is written to enlighten couples by revealing the actual facts that are associated with IVF so that they are reassured about having safe IVF.
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List of ReferencesHide
Seng S W, Yeong C T, et al “In-vitro fertilization in women aged 40 years and above”.Singapore Med J. 2005 Mar;46(3):132-6, PMID: 15735878.
Banker Manish, Arora Parul, et al.“Prevalence of structural birth defects in IVF-ICSI pregnancies resulting from autologous and donor oocytes in Indian sub-continent: Results from 2444 births”. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2019 Jun;98(6):715-721, PMID: 30663773.
Zhang Ningyuan, Chen Hua, et al.“Pregnancy, Delivery, and Neonatal Outcomes of In Vitro Fertilization-Embryo Transfer in Patient with Previous Cesarean Scar”.Med Sci Monit. 2016 Sep 16;22:3288-95, PMID: 27636504.
Last updated on: : 09 Nov 2020
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