The Pros and Cons of Using IVF Therapy to Conceive

Infertility is a complex issue that takes a serious mental, physical, emotional and financial toll on all involved. More than six million women within the normal reproductive age range will grapple with these problems, and many of them will never come up with a workable solution. There are countless babies in need of a home, and adoption is one avenue that solves two problems at the same time. But some women aren’t willing to give up on reproduction before they exhaust all options. And one possibility that’s proven successful for countless women is in vitro fertilization. Commonly known as IVF, this is a procedure that brings together the woman’s egg and the man’s sperm in a laboratory setting. If fertilization can be induced, the fertilized embryos are then surgically implanted. Ideally, the woman carries one of these embryos through to term, and a healthy baby is born. But that isn’t always the case. Here is a quick look at some of the pros and cons of using IVF therapy to conceive.

First on the list of pros is the fact that this has worked for people time and time again. It’s no slam dunk, but for women with serious reproductive issues this may be the only medical solution available. And although each cycle of IVF is a shot in the dark, the vast majority of couples who go this route will conceive after a maximum of three cycles. Given that around thirty years ago the only solution for a problem of this magnitude was adoption, IVF is clearly nothing to sneeze at.

One of the major problems with IVF, however, is its unpredictability. According to a study conducted by the American Pregnancy Association, about a third of women aged thirty-five or younger who attempt IVF will be successful. The older you are, the lower the success rate. That means there is a better than 50% chance you’ll have to go through IVF more than once. That brings quite the price tag. You’ll typically find an IVF cycle goes for around $15,000. Most health insurance policies won’t pay for this, so a couple will have to come out of pocket. Once you start you won’t want to give up right away, making this an incredibly expensive solution.

It is a great option, however, if you hope to have more than one child. During each IVF cycle the doctor will extract several eggs. You’ll be able to freeze the eggs that aren’t used in the process, and thanks to modern technology they can then be utilized later on in life, if you hope to have more children. Many younger women will go this route, freezing a batch of eggs to increase their future odds. And if more than one egg is fertilized during the process, you and the doctor may choose to have them all implanted. This gives you an even better chance of having a successful pregnancy. On the other hand, it also creates the chance you’ll have multiple babies. Depending on how you look at things, this could be a pro or a con.

Finally, there are some serious physical and emotional side effects. It isn’t an easy process in many ways. Since it is a big investment and there is a lot of uncertainty, many women experience significant anxiety and depression. It can also create a strain on your romantic relationship, with so much at stake. Physically, the medicine you must take during IVF is tough on the system. If you’ve ever visited a California cryobank they’ve probably outlined the regimen in detail. But you could end up with serious headaches, cramps, hot flashes and problems with your vision. It’s usually something you can manage, but it adds another scary layer to a challenging situation.

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