It has been 40 years since the first test tube baby was born. Since then, advanced reproductive technology has come a long way. This tremendous progression has helped millions of couples to realize their dream of starting a family and becoming parents.
Despite IVF being one of the most commonly used methods of conception today, there has been a ton of misleading information and myths that still deter couples from seeking this route to fulfilling their hopes of getting pregnant. While some are startling untrue, some may have some kernel of factual information hidden in them.
Let’s take this opportunity to separate fact from fiction by busting some of the most popular IVF myths.
Myth 1: The woman needs to allow herself enough time to conceive naturally prior to opting for fertility treatment
Fact: To a certain extent this is true for younger women typically those who are sub-30. Nature should be allowed to take its own course but that is not the recommended route for women of all age groups.
If you happen to fall in a higher age group, for example, 35+, getting pregnant naturally can be a difficult task. Hence, couples who decide to have children late in their lives should consider the age of the female partner which in turn would help them to make a decision of whether to pursue fertility treatment or not. Ideally, couples at a mature age should not wait too long to plan their pregnancy to ensure that they get the best outcome with medical guidance and intervention.
Myth 2: The root cause of infertility is always due to issues with the reproductive system of the woman.
Fact: If a woman does not get pregnant in record time post marriage, most people assume that the cause of infertility is due to the female partner. However, data suggests otherwise.
Statistics show that 35% of infertility cases are a result of the woman’s reproductive system or other related issues. Male factors contribute another 35% to this count. 20% of infertility cases are a result of issues with both involved partners and the remaining 10% is a result of undetermined factors.
Myth 3: IVF has a 100 percent success rate and can resolve all infertility issues.
Fact: This is in fact not true at all. Worldwide figures show a 40% success rate for IVF procedures for couples who are sub-35 years in age. For those above this age bracket, the success rate hovers around 30% to 35%.
In addition to this, the IVF success rate is dependent on multiple factors like the age of the woman, causes of infertility, hormonal and biological conditions, etc. Moreover, infertility issues can be addressed in multiple assisted reproductive procedures. It can be through ovulation induction (OI) with medications, intrauterine insemination (IUI) or IVF that can help couples to get pregnant.
Myth 4: Only infertile couples can use IVF.
Fact: Most people believe that IVF is a procedure that helps infertile women to get pregnant. However, IVF is not used only to treat infertility.
Couples may seek to tread the IVF path for various reasons. This can include conditions like a genetic disorder that may impact their child’s longevity and overall health post birth. Fertility specialists can help couples in such situations by creating embryos under laboratory conditions using the couples’ own eggs and sperm. The embryos are then tested for genetic issues and only the healthy ones are transferred to the woman.
Myth 5: You can do IVF at any age.
Fact: This is only partially true. Yes, you have the option to try IVF at any age. However, the success rate is impacted significantly if the female partner is on the other side of 35. As the reproductive system ages, even an IVF procedure may not be enough to harvest viable eggs to create a healthy embryo. Additionally, the uterus may not have the adequate strength to carry a child to full term.
Other than the age factor, there are other variables that play a huge role in the success of your IVF procedures. Moreover, many couples may have to undergo multiple IVF cycles before they are able to conceive. In reality, there is no guarantee with IVF, but your fertility expert will be able to explain the possibility of success in your specific case post assessing your partner and your age and overall health.
Myth 6: IVF babies are different from babies conceived the natural way.
Fact: The world witnessed a scientific miracle with Louise Brown, the first IVF baby created in a petri dish. Having said that, many still harbour the notion that babies born via IVF are different from those conceived naturally.
There is no truth to this at all. Other than the method of conception, there is no difference in babies born with the help of IVF procedures. They are just as healthy and adorable as those babies born through the natural process of getting pregnant.
Despite what the myths might suggest, results demonstrate that on average 70% of IVF cases conceive in the first attempt. Hence the reason why millions of couples have come forward to seek assisted reproductive techniques like IVF across the globe. Be it through a single round or multiple cycles of IVF, the joy of becoming parents is a feeling that is comparable to none.
If you believe that IVF is something that you’d like to try, then speak to your healthcare provider today.
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Need a Recommendation?
If you are based in and around Hyderabad, be sure to take a look at MotherToBe, a well-known fertility centre that is headed by Lead Clinician Dr Vyjayanthi. With a long and positive reputation in this field, Dr Vyjayanthi is assisted by a team of practised and senior clinicians and fertility specialists that ensures that your fertility treatment is a stress-free experience as much as possible.
Dr Vyjayanthi across her 18 years of practice has personally performed over 10,000 IVF cycles adhering to the highest standards of patient care. Seek the counsel of Dr Vyjayanthi’s expert team for a personalised approach to your fertility condition and let your journey to parenthood with an experienced clinical and embryology team.