Jun 042009
 

If you wondering if you should try in vitro fertilization (IVF), this list of benefits and drawbacks of IVF may help you decide if this fertility treatment is right for you.

Remember that it doesn’t matter if you have your children through in vitro fertilization, adoption, a surrogate mother, or fostering…

“It is not flesh and blood but the heart that makes us fathers and sons.” ~ Johann Schiller.

When listing the drawbacks of in vitro fertilization, I never once considered the possibility that I may not love my child – even if we have to use sperm donors and petri dishes! It really is the heart that creates love and family bonds; it doesn’t matter how familes are actually created.

To learn more about in vitro fertilization, read IVF: The Wayward Stork–What to Expect, Who to Expect It From, and Surviving It All.

And, here are some pros and cons of this type of fertility treatment…





The Benefits of Trying In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to Get Pregnant

The same genes

We’d need a sperm donor if we tried in vitro fertilization, but at least our child would be half ours, biologically speaking. It’d be so cool to see your own child grow up – though I know adopted parents love their kids as if they’d given birth to them! But still…the biological connection is a benefit of IVF (as compared to adoption).

The experience of getting and being pregnant

This is a weak benefit of in vitro fertilization for me…some women who cope with infertility mourn the fact that they’ll never get pregnant and do everything they can to have their own biological children. Me, I could take it or leave it. I’d like to get pregnant, but won’t be devastated if it never happens.

The Drawbacks of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

Extra embryos

What happens if, say, seven embryos are created and you don’t want seven babies? In Canada, there are laws governing how many embryos can be implanted at one time, and it varies by the woman’s age. But if you choose to implant two or three embryos, then you need to decide later what to do with the “extras.” This moral and ethical dilemma that can be a real drawback to in vitro fertilization — unless you know about embryo donation.

Cost of fertilty treatments

One IVF cycle could cost as much as $12,000-$15,000 for one month. My fertility doctor quoted a 50% chance of me getting pregnant (I’m pushing 40, so the odds are lower that I’ll get and stay pregnant). It’s incredibly expensive to pay for in vitro fertilization – and going into debt doesn’t work for us.

If you’re on a budget, read Can’t Afford Fertility Treatments? Money Saving Tips for Pregnancy.

Miscarriages

A baby conceived through IVF doesn’t have a better chance of implanting and staying healthy in the womb…and miscarriage rates are surprisingly high (not just for in vitro fertilization babies, but for all babies in general).

If you’re looking for research on IVF, read Does In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Work? What the Research Shows.

Health risks

The risk of health problems because of the anesthetic or other IVF procedure is small…but still there. An intestine can be poked, an ovary or uterus damaged…there’s always a risk of problems with any medical procedure. Plus, I recently saw some research that shows that babies conceived through IVF have shorter lifespans.

Fertility and infertility drugs

In vitro fertilization requires that you go through a type of menopause for 21 days – you’re given a drug like Lupron, which stops the estrogen production in your body. Then, you’re given extra estrogen so you can go through super ovulation, and produce extra eggs. Since I only have four follicles on one side and three on the other, I’ll get extra drugs to encourage my body to produce extra eggs. Granted, this is a short-term thing (hopefully only one month) – but the side effects could include headaches, nausea, moodiness, irritability, insomnia, and health problems.

Needles and internal ultrasounds

An IVF cycle involves three needles a day for the last 10 days or so, and one needle a day for a week or so before that. Towards the end of the cycle, you have to go in for a 7:30 am check every second day, so the doctor can see if your eggs are mature.

To learn more about this fertility treatment, read In Vitro Fertilization and Depression – IVF Treatment Effects.

Are you trying in vitro fertilization (IVF) or other fertility treatments to get pregnant? I’d love to hear from you below!

laurie pawlik kienlenI'm Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen - bookworm, travel bug, flute player, writer, blogger, warrior princess. :-) My husband and I live in Vancouver, Canada with our cat and dogs.

Are you happy? My Grade 10 Social Studies teacher always asked me that. And I am happy, despite a hard childhood (schizophrenic mom, no dad, foster homes), infertility, an eating disorder, and a chronic illness. The source of my peace and joy is God; I'm a Christian. Where do you find peace?

I welcome your big and little comments below, about big or little things. I can't give you advice, but writing can give you clarity and insight.

In peace and passion...Laurie

  29 Responses to “Should You Try In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to Get Pregnant?”

  1. Dear Laurie:

    Thank you so much for your motivating and kind words. I will take them into consideration. I still haven’t taken any decision yet, but every time I try to bring up the topic, my husband becomes irritated and there is a constant negative. I think this is a strategy he is using, not to face me. I still think he is selfish and I recent him. I’m afraid I’ll recent him for the rest of our lives. I’m praying God and I have faith..I’m expecting a miracle will happen, because I have considered a divorce. It might sound dramatic I know. I have thought about it carefully. I have also considered an artificial insemination with a sperm donor and egg donor on my own and keep my marriage. i have to tell my husband and hope he supports me on this one. After all it will no be his child, but mine. Please give me your opinion about my plans…and again thanks for your words, God Bless You

  2. just curious, if i have no problem conceiving naturally; can i still do ivf for having twins. If so would i be able to choose the sex…

  3. To Marie:

    I am wondering where the dignity and respect is for people who can’t have their own child and want their own child. You should be well aware that people who can’t have their own children are smart enough to have thought about children that are already here and in need of love. Just because they want their own child does not in any way shape or form make them bad people. As a Catholic, I am sure you think that your opinion is the right opinion but it is not.
    If you are so against IVF then why would you go to a site dedicated to IVF???????? Just looking to make people feel bad……oh wait that is what Catholicism is all about….GUILT and YOUR OPINION! Keep it to yourself, please!

  4. Is any way i can funds to do in vitro since i don’t really enough money.Is there is anyone who is willing to help or ay organization i will really appreciate.

  5. The dignity and respect for life is diminished by the usage of In vitro fertilization. If a couple really wants a child, they should adopt a child that is already alive and need loving parents. At the moment of conception a baby, a human life has been created. To destroy the other embryos is wrong and unjust. All life is precious and should not be stored in freezers for research. As a Catholic I believe it is morally wrong to have abortions and to have in vitro fertilization. I pray that those who are considering to do IVF will consider adoption instead.

  6. I am 43 yrs old. No children and haven’t tried yet. I always used protection. I just got married 2 yrs ago. My husband has two teenage girls from a previous marriage and is willling to have one for me. From my research it looks like natural is out of the question as my chances are so low. Looks like my eggs based on reading are probably too old?? Would a clinic in Ontario still do IVF for me at my age? Do you know? How do they test my husband’s sperm? Does he have to “produce” at the clinic? Sorry im afraid to ask this question. Is there any other hope you can give me based on my age or have i waited to long. I never knew about freezing eggs till recently otherwise i would have done it years ago. I am so sad at this point looking at the stuff i have read. I’d love your opinion. I pray God blesses all of us. Thank you .

  7. Dear Josie,

    That’s a drag, that your husband changed his mind about in vitro fertilization! What a disappointment, especially since you had already started the process. I’m sorry to hear that he had second thoughts.

    I don’t think there is much you can say to convince him to have kids. He needs to find it in his heart to agree to being a father for you, because he has no motivation to have kids for himself.

    Try not to get angry or frustrated at him, because that’ll make him resist the idea more. I don’t know how to convince him to proceed with the fertility treatments, but I do believe you and he can have a happy marriage no matter what you decide.

    You could try a session of couples counseling, to get an objective perspective on your dilemma. My husband and I have gone to a counselor to get clarity on an issue in our marriage, and it helped immensely. We only went once, told both our “sides” of the story, and the counselor helped us meet in the middle. The counselor also helped us see each other’s perspective more objectively.

    You could also write out the reasons you want to have children, and how you feel about never having kids. Do this for yourself first, not to show your husband. Get clear about your own thoughts and feelings about getting pregnant, and how you will feel either way.

    Then, write him a letter that describes how you feel about having kids and what it means to you. Don’t accuse him or get mad at him – the letter is about YOU.

    I don’t know if this will make him reconsider his decision not to proceed with IVF, but it may help you and him reconnect. You want to find a way to love and support each other again, even if you have to live with a painful decision.

    You might also decide what’s more important: having kids or staying married. Some women leave their husbands because they want children, and their husbands don’t. I’m not saying you should leave him…I’m just throwing a few ideas around.

    I hope this helps, and wish you all the best.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  8. I have been seeing a doctor at am excellent clinic. I am 42 yrs old. My first 2 fsh levels were 26 and 29 and the third was 13. Doctor was going to start me on stimulating my ovaries. And just before starting my husband said, He didn’t want no more kids. Since he has 3 kids from first marriage. I was already so excited about the idea of having a baby. I don’t have any. I think he is extremely selfish and unfair. he should have told me from start. He has a vasectomy. Biopsy by aspiration was going to be the procedure for getting the sperm. should I just give up. There is no way I can convince him I know. I. m praying God he changes his mind, but don’t want to push him into a kid he doesn’t want. Some advice would help. God Bless you all and may your wish to become a mom come true. PS he doesn’t want to adopt either.

  9. Dear Alba,

    I’m so sorry to hear that your in vitro fertilization treatment didn’t work. It is so emotionally and physically devastating, not to mention expensive. And, when you’re disappointed by the fertility doctor, it’s even WORSE.

    My heart goes out to you. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  10. Hi,I have just one week that I finished the cycle of ivf.today was my first visit.and as it looked it wasn’t succesfull.the doctor try to explain to me telling that the quality of the eggs and the sperm wasn’t that good that she didn’t expect this and that……but I wonder why she didn’t stimulate me with some medicine so I was gonna have o a lot more eggs,.she deciced to do the ivf with me in 1 week.without checkin anything on me..only doin sonogram everytime I was goin there and she told me that everything was perfect…I spend 14.000$.1 month and smth goin there 3 time a week and a lot of energy.my hope is dead….doctors now r only bussines they don’t care about anything else….

  11. Dear Older & Wiser,

    Thank you for sharing how you tried in vitro fertilization to get pregnant! I didn’t realize the long-term health effects of this type of fertility treatment. And, I don’t often hear of women who were unsuccessful at IVF. It seems like the clinics want to publicize the success rates, and not mention the “failures.”

    Women need to know about the consequences of IVF – aside from the disappointment of not conceiving. Of course, if you get pregnant, then it’s probably worth it!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  12. I went through in-vitro once six years ago. I did the Lupron, the heavy doses of hormones, the hysteroscopy and ended up with an infection in my uterus. They fixed that and I was about to finally have the IVF when 4 days before the IVF doctor told me I was no longer a candidate for IVF. I only produced 3 eggs. (I likely wouldn’t be successful and that would lower their success stats) What he forgot to tell me is that I was going to have extreme pain in my ovaries for a month because of the hormones and a period that lasted a year. Since then I have never had a normal period and they were “relatively normal” before. I had another medical doctor describe the effects of IVF on a woman’s hormonal system in this analogy. The woman’s hormonal system is like a small car. The IVF hormones are like a semi-truck smashing into the small car. Yes once it’s over, the accident scene is removed, but the small car is still damaged. It’s a big decision and you just have to decide what you are willing to go through before and after. I did meet two woman who were successful with IVF and very happy.

  13. Dear Trace,

    What a wonderful question — I’m SO glad there are women like you in the world! Even if you don’t donate your eggs or embryos after your in vitro fertilization treatments, I think you’re a very special and caring person.

    I wrote this article for you:

    Should You Donate Your Eggs to Help Other Women Get Pregnant?

    Also – I encourage you to learn all you can about donating eggs after IVF before you make a final decision. Take your time – don’t rush into a decision! Learn as much as you can about egg donation and how to cope with feelings that may come up afterwards.

    Let me know how you’re doing; I’d love to hear from you again.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  14. i am going for my 1st ivf in the next 2 months. i am scared but have decided that if i am successful on the first try then i would donated the rest of my eggs to someone that really needs it. is it the right thing to do

  15. I decided not to try in vitro fertilization. It’s too much for me. But, we’re hoping someone donates a frozen embryo from their IVF treatments!

  16. Faith,

    Thanks so much for your feedback on in vitro fertilization! I agree; it’s so important to make sure you’re getting good, accurate, and balance information when you’re considering any type of infertility treatment.

    I’m still trying to decide about IVF…it’s a major life decision!

    Laurie

  17. HI Laurie!
    So sorry to hear you didn’t find success at the first clinic. Hope things are going better at the new one.
    —-

    Just a comment to Undecided in NC.

    Undecided said: “Should I be conceiving the natural way and if I cannot, does that mean I shouldn’t?”

    If another of your body parts or systems wasn’t working properly due to disease or medical issue, would you question that you shouldn’t undergo available medical treatment because your body “should” be doing whatever the so-called “natural way” and if it can’t without assistance then you are meant to have that problem or issue affect your normal bodily function in some way? I think any medical treatment can bring up moral issues (some people have issues with blood transfusions, organ transplants etc…) I think you need to understand what specifically is of moral concern for you regarding various treatment options (ethically, spiritually…) and decide from there which options would fit into your comfort zone and which wouldn’t. Unfortunately, I have come across lots of inaccurate and misleading information about IVF being shared by churches and religious people-so be sure you have good and accurate (and balanced!) information to use in your decision making.

  18. Thanks for your comments, Ness! It’s way cool to hear from you — I want a kid just like you. You’re thoughtful, kind, and helpful.

    The study I mentioned was just a snapshot. It can’t represent reality because, as you said, the first IVF baby is still young! Other research shows that babies conceived through in vitro fertilization are just as healthy as natural biological babies.

    So there is absolutely no reason to worry…and every reason to celebrate your existence!

  19. IVF kids have shorter life spans? Interesting. I kinda hope not, I’m 16 now and the first ever IVF conceived child is 30 now, so I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see how that pans out. And all you trying parents, if you have the money, and you agree with it morally, go for it! It may be many hours and doctor visits and operations but you’ll get there in the end, i was 7 years in the making

    Hope that helps :)

  20. Thanks Laurie!!

    First of all, I spoke with my RE, and he was really nice. He said that he’s sure there is still a ‘spark’, and if there was no financial factor, would recommend I just continue and in most probability I’d get pregnant. I’m a single choice mum, having left my layabout husband to embark on my dreams of becoming a mum!! So my RE is just a bit concerned about my finances, but of course, in all reality, it’s not really his business. I just got worried that he was going to get all judgmental about me. Anyway, I’m from a small country, and there is really only one clinic here. It is first rate though, and my RE is a professor in his field, and always away at fertility conferences etc. BUT, I have revelations about the microdose flare protocol, which I am to start soon. I actually asked to do this protocol, but have read so many negative things about it. I have premature LH surges, and am worried that the LH factor with this protocol will be really detrimental to the eggs. I asked my RE if I could try the antagonist but he said it wasn’t good for me because of my LH problem, he also said that the E2 levels can’t be measured on this protocol, but this doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve been reading up on the Estrogen Priming protocol, and it seems this is being used a lot for women in my situation. However, I don’t think this protocol is used at my clinic. I’m now in the position of waiting for my period to start – around April 11, then starting OCP. But I’m going to send a letter to my RE, with my concerns. I’m also worried about the follicle size at trigger for the microdose. I read on the net that for women over 35, the two leading follicles shouldn’t be more than 18mm, otherwise there is a big difference in pregnancy rates as opposed to when the follicles are under 18mm. I mentioned this to my RE, but he said he’d trigger at 20mm!!!! I’m really worried about that!! Do you have much knowledge on this??

    I know IVF isn’t a miracle procedure, and that it really comes down to luck more than anything, but I know I still have some good eggs in me, it’s just a matter of when they will come!!! I realise my chances are slim each cycle, but I do want to have the best chance possible, and don’t want to waste money on a protocol which may not be best suited to me!!

    Any advice so welcome!!

    Marietta:0)

  21. Dear Marietta,

    It’s wonderful to hear that you’re so happy with your boy and girl…and I am sorry that your in vitro fertilization didn’t take. It’s very disappointing to go through the whole procedure and not get pregnant, no matter how many kids you already have!

    I’d suggest talking to another doctor or reproductive endocrinologist at a different fertility clinic. My husband and I “interviewed” three different clinics before we settled on one….and we ended up choosing the one with the worst reputation! We didn’t get pregnant through the first clinic we chose, and have moved on to another clinic.

    My point is that different fertility clinics have different doctors, protocols, methodologies, etc….and not all of them are equal. You have to feel comfortable where you go, and feel supported by your doctor or RE. If he or she is saying “you already have two kids, maybe it’s okay that you don’t have more”…then maybe you need to find a clinic that will support your wishes!

    I don’t know if your eggs are “bad” or not, but I do know that the success rates of IUI are lower than IVF. Usually, people try IUI first….and IVF second if they don’t get pregnant. If your eggs ARE bad, then IUI won’t increase your pregnancy odds…..

    My advice would be to get a second opinion from a fertility clinic.

    Let me know how it goes — I hope you get pregnant easily and quickly!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  22. Hi!

    I’ve just had my first failed IVF cycle. I’m trying for baby #3, and didn’t think it would be this difficult!

    I gave birth to a son, Dec 2005, first attempt, using natural IUI. At the time, my FSH was about 6. My daughter, born July 2008. I had two failed natural IUI cycles. I was ovulating around day 8, so my RE put me onto puregon to manage my cycle, and she was conceived first try with IUI. Now I’m having trouble trying to complete my family! My first IUI for baby #3 was cancelled June last year, as I over-responded, growing about 12 large follicles. I then had two failed IUI cycles. I thought I had ovulated out of sync, but I’m not sure now. My RE had set up another IUI, but I wanted answers, so I had my FSH done again, and it was now 10 for the month of November. It had been 8 only eight months prior! My AMH was .71 – not good for my age (37). My RE told me my follicles were acting like those of a 40year old. Also, my E2 level is now 68, but when I conceived my two children, it had always been elevated – around 250 – 350!?! Anyway, I did my first IVF cycle, and got a negative. It wasn’t going well, as I only grew 7 follicles (I got 6 eggs in total). I was surprised by this, as I was initially on 225iu of puregon, but wasn’t responding, so was put up to 300iu. What surprised me was that when I did my IUIs last year, I was only on 75iu puregon, but I was growing more follicles, and I actually had to coast for one of my failed cycles. The only difference I could see was that my RE had kept me on a higher dose of buserelin (lupron)? for the whole of the cycle, instead of lowering it once I started on the puregon. I asked him about this, and he said it could likely affect the number of follicles grown. I’m wondering if it could also effect the egg quality. Anyway, I’m now thinking I must just have bad eggs, but I can’t understand how things have gotten so bad so quickly? Of my 6 eggs, 4 fertilised, using ICSI. Two eggs looked perfect on day 2, one was fragmented, and one was dividing too quickly. At my transfer, I had one ‘perfect’ looking 8-cell embryo (obviously it wasn’t too perfect at all), there was another ‘perfect’ looking 12-cell embryo, another was fragmented, and another was slightly fragmented. My RE would only replace one embryo, as he said I have a good history (sure!). Anyway, the upshot is, I’m not pregnant, and my remaining embryos all arrested, so I have nothing to freeze. I’m worried I just have nothing but bad quality eggs left. I see my RE on 22 Feb, and I know he is going to try to dissuade me from trying again, as he keeps saying I always have two kids etc, and my AMH is .71…… But, I wonder if a different protocol (Microdose-flare or Antagonist), or another view would help. I also wonder if I should do two more cycles, and then call it a day, just so I’ve satisfied myself that I’ve exhausted all avenues. I also wonder if my eggs are so bad, then maybe I should just revert to the cheaper IUI treatment, and see if my RE will let me go ahead with insemination with 6 or 7 follicles?

    Any advice would be very welcome!!! I’m so happy with my boy and girl, but one more would just be so perfect!

    Marietta :0)

  23. i am happy because i had a baby after the ivf and my husband is also exited.my son is called frank he is now 4 years old.

  24. Dear Undecided,

    I know how you feel, because I’m in the same position! But of course I can’t tell you if you should be conceiving the natural way — NOBODY can or should tell you that. That’s a decision that you and your husband need to make together, with the guidance of God.

    I suggest you learn all you can about in vitro fertilization. Find out what the exact process is — in person, at a fertility clinic (not just online. Web sites are informative, but you need to be taken through the steps in person). Take your husband with you to all the appointments, of course, and learn together what IVF is all about.

    Also, give your husband time and space to think about the options and possibly even change his mind. My husband wasn’t for fostering kids at the beginning of our infertility journey, but we’re now revisiting that idea. I was surprised that he’s now willing to look at it more in depth — and am happy to learn that people change, often in positive ways! So, remember that your hubby may reconsider adoption in a year or two.

    And, I encourage you to pray together about His will for you life. I don’t think we can say “God is against IVF because it’s unnatural” or “God is for IVF because He gave us the intelligence to use science to procreate.” We don’t know God’s mind. But, we can discern His will for our lives through prayer, Scripture, and open conversations with each other and trusted spiritual mentors (eg, pastors, elders, even your old Christian aunt!).

    I also believe that you CAN and indeed HAVE TO have faith in God even if you try in vitro fertilization. There are absolutely no guarantees that you’ll get pregnant — much less all the rest — which means that faith is a huge part of infertility treatments. Trying IVF doesn’t mean you don’t have faith in God…it just means you’re praying like everything depends on God and working like everything depends on you! Isn’t that what Joshua did when he marched around the wall? So many people in the Bible prayed hard and worked hard — faith isn’t just about sitting back and waiting for God to work magic. It’s about taking risks, going out on a limb, and testing your faith and relationship with Him.

    What does your husband think of in vitro fertilization? That’s another important piece of the puzzle, of course.

    And, remember that you don’t need to decide right now which route to take. Take time to breathe, get information, pray, talk, and trust God that you’ll make the best decision for you and your future family.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  25. My husband an I are considering IVF. We were told that this would be the best option for us and one of the better cases to be successful. His sperm count is great, my ovaries and uterus looks great however, my tubes are to small or may be even partially blocked. It may be likely for the sperm to get in but not for a fertillized egg to get out. This is a risk for ectopic preganacy. I have already had one 9 years ago and was told everything was fine. Anyway, I do not think that I would regret doing this proceedure and I would love my children if conceive this way however my issue is moral.

    I I want to have faith in God that it will happen the normal way if it is meant to be but I have not even gotten pregnant since my ectopic and I am now 33. I am for advanced medicine and think that it is a great thing. Neither my husband or I have children and we don’t know what to do. I love children and would not have a problem adopting. Before all of this happened, I said that I would love to adopt one child for every one that I have. My husband and I discussed this when our church was promoting adoption and when I made this comment to my husband, he stated that this was not what he wants. He just wants his own children.

    Maybe he is considering adoption now because we have a problem but I don’t want to be the wife that has to have children and pushes him to do something that he does not want to do.

    I’m not too sure about IVF with my faith and if I should be going through all of the this stuff to have a child but if I don’t do it and we do not adopt, we may not have children.

    Should I be conceiving the natural way and if I cannot, does that mean I shouldn’t?

  26. Hi Faith,

    In your 10 years of IVF (wow!!!), did you ever get pregnant? Do you have children now — maybe by adoption?

    I’m reluctant to try even one cycle of in vitro fertilization. My fertility doctor thinks it’s the best route to take after 6 months of unsuccessful intrauterine inseminations, but…I just don’t like the thought of those drugs and needles and possible disappointment. Not to mention the money! I’m getting a second opinion next month, at a different fertility clinic.

    I like your suggestion about the “regret question – How will I feel if…” Sitting with a particular decision for a few days — or even several months — can be a great way to make big decisions.

    I’ll try on the “how will I feel in 10 years if I don’t try IVF” coat….and see how that feels.

    Thanks for being here, I’m very glad to have “met” you!

    Laurie

  27. Hi Laurie,

    My experience comes from being a patient for more than a decade (yeah, really that long). I (well hubby and I) have done multiple IVF cycles.

    From my experience, while fertility patients might ask for a certain number of embryos transferred (more than the guideline), the doctor makes the final call based on their judgment of what is medically sound for the given patient, and in a case of a young patient with good embryos, they would generally not give the patient more embryos because they ask for them (at least here in Canada anyway). Transferring more than two is usually only done in cases where a patient is older, and/or with poorer quality embryos, and/or has had multiple failed cycles previously. With those factors or a combination of those factors the risks of all embryos taking is usually very slim. So what it comes down to is doctors being able to use their best medical and professional judgment (often along with the input of the embryologist) about the best course of action for the particular patient that takes into consideration the risks of multiples versus the odds of success for that particular patient. My doctor/clinics goal is to get patients pregnant with one baby. They know that sometimes twins (and rarely triplets) might occur, but the ultimate success is still considered one.

    As to the number of needles used in a cycle, you are correct, it depends on many factors including the stimulation protocol used. The woman’s age and medical history, and the clinics experience with particular protocols all play a part in what is used.

    I think one more thing I would add to your “Benefits and Drawbacks” list is the “regret question-How will I feel if:”. When considering ones options I think if you can try and look down the road five, ten or twenty years and imagine the possible outcomes of your choice(s) and how you might feel about it then and see if it feels comfortable. Will you be happy to not be in debt but without a child or if you attempt IVF and are in debt (and don’t have a child) would that be a regret for spending the money and being less financially secure, or will you feel that you did what you could to try and know that there was nothing more you could have done… I know over the years that has helped me (well us) work on how we felt about particular choices we had. By “trying on” various decisions and imagining the future with that decision it helped clarify how I (we) really felt. (just my little 2cents on it anyway)

  28. Faith, thank you for your clarifications! I thought for sure it was Canadian law about embryo transfer — but on re-reading my IVF info, I see that it indeed says “guidelines.” Does that mean a fertility clinic can transfer more if the client asks?

    I guess the number of needles you’d have to take for IVF might depend on the amount and type of medications used, which depends on the woman’s hormones, age, genetics, etc. ?

    How do you know so much about IVF — do you work at a fertility clinic or are you an ultra-savvy fertility client?

    Thanks again for taking the time to comment!

    Laurie

  29. Just to clarify :-)
    embryos are transferred not “implanted” during a cycle…a significant difference since the hope is that they will implant to establish a pregnancy (implatation is a biological process). And in Canada, there are only guidelines, not laws, that dictate how many embryos can be transferred at one time. And while IVF costs around 12 grand for “one month”, if you are like the majority of patients you would have more embryos that can be cryopreserved for later thaw cycles that are much less cost (a few thousand per cycle) that add to the cumulative success rate from that initial cycle. And not all clinics use the same protocol, my clinic usually does cycles with only one needle a day for 10-12 days (some clinics in the US use a protocol where you use needles for several months if you are successful-medical protocals vary considerably).
    IVF isn’t the right choice for everyone…but it is for some. I just want to add to your list…which is great for giving people things to consider in their decision making.
    PS. I have never heard of a study suggesting a shorter life span for ivf babies…I am curious how they came to the conclusion since IVF istelf is only 30 years old.

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