Come learn about in vitro fertilization and how it can help you have the family you've always wanted. We'll dispel any myths and answer any questions you have so that you can make an informed decision.

Understanding the Truth About In Vitro Fertilization

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a complex series of procedures used to help those who are unable to conceive a child on their own. The process involves retrieving eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilizing them with sperm in a laboratory dish. The fertilized eggs are then transferred to the woman’s uterus with the hope that they will implant and she will carry the baby to term.

While IVF can be an effective treatment for infertility, it’s also important to understand that the process is not without its risks and challenges. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re considering IVF.

1. IVF is not always successful.

The success rate of IVF depends on a number of factors, including the woman’s age, the cause of infertility, and the quality of the eggs and sperm. In general, the success rates are lower for women over the age of 35 and for those who are using IVF to treat a male fertility problem.

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the success rates for IVF range from 40 to 50 percent for women under the age of 35. The success rates decline to about 30 percent for women aged 35 to 37, 20 percent for women aged 38 to 40, and 10 percent for women over the age of 40.

2. IVF is expensive.

The cost of IVF can vary widely, depending on the clinic, the drugs used, the number of cycles, and whether you need to use donor eggs or sperm. According to the National Infertility Association, the average cost of IVF in the United States is $12,400, but it can range from $10,000 to $15,000.

Keep in mind that many insurance companies do not cover the cost of IVF, so you may need to pay for the procedures out of pocket. Some clinics offer financing options, but you should be aware of the interest rates and terms before you sign up for a loan.

3. IVF requires frequent doctor’s visits.

During an IVF cycle, you will need to see your doctor for several ultrasounds and blood tests to check the development of your eggs and to monitor your hormone levels. You will also need to give yourself daily injections of hormones to stimulate egg production.

The egg retrieval procedure is performed under anesthesia, and you will need someone to drive you home afterwards. The embryo transfer is also performed under anesthesia, and you will need to take it easy for a few days afterwards.

4. IVF can cause side effects.

The hormones used to stimulate egg production can cause a range of side effects, including hot flashes, mood swings, bloating, and breast tenderness. The injections can also cause pain and bruising. Some women also experience anxiety and depression during the IVF process.

The egg retrieval procedure can cause cramping and bloating, and you may also experience some spotting. The embryo transfer can cause cramping and bloating, and you may also experience some light bleeding.

5. IVF can take a toll on your emotional health.

The IVF process can

Video produced by the Family Life Office of the Diocese of Lansing. Made possible by a grant from Our Sunday Visitor