Before Louise Brown was born 39 years ago as the first human ever to be conceived from In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), infertility was rarely discussed and had limited treatment options. Over the years, IVF treatments have shown higher pregnancy success rates and have become more accessible for people from all walks of life. However, with the success rate have also gone up myths about IVF.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproductive technique (ART) to treat infertility. It is the process by which an egg is removed from the woman’s ovaries and fertilized with a sperm in a laboratory, before placing it back into the uterus. Despite all the advancements made by IVF treatment, there is still a lack of understanding about the whole process.
Let us debunk five common myths about IVF that you may have come across:
- Myth 1: IVF is the only solution to infertility problems
Fact: IVF is just one of the many available options for treating infertility. There are other options as well like ovulation induction (OI) with medications, Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI), follicular stimulation, etc. IVF can sometimes be the first line of treatment for women with blocked fallopian tubes, and older women trying to conceive. However, it is not a one-stop solution to all fertility problems.
- Myth 2: IVF is always successful
Fact: The success of IVF depends on a number of factors like the age of the woman and the number, and quality of embryos transferred. It also depends on the height, weight, ovarian reserve tests, sperm count, and reproductive history (e.g. past pregnancies and miscarriages) etc.
- Myth 3: IVF requires hospital admission
Fact: Not true! IVF is an out-patient treatment in most facilities, and does not require overnight admission. The egg-collection procedure requires the patient to take day admission. It is also a myth that patient needs to rest for 6 to 8 hours after the procedure.
- Myth 4: IVF babies have higher risk of birth defects and deformities
Fact: Even though some past research has suggested that there is an increased risk of birth defects in babies born via IVF, recent studies have pegged the ratio at 1:12 in IVF versus 1:15 in spontaneous births. So, the absolute risk of having a child with congenital malformations remains low.
- Myth 5: IVF is very expensive
Fact: People often think IVF is only for the rich. That’s not true at all. Although the overall cost of an IVF procedure is high, it has not shown an increase like other medical procedures. It has remained steady and most people can afford the cost since it is an outpatient procedure.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a safe procedure and can have high success rates. And like any medical procedure, it is common to have misconceptions about it. Our team at KIMS Cuddles strives to bust these myths about IVF, while providing you a safe and healthy pregnancy.
*The opinions expressed in this article are not to be substituted for medical advice under any circumstance