Separating IVF Fact From Fiction

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most well-known fertility treatments a woman or couple can undergo to achieve conception. The first IVF baby was born in 1978. Since then, millions of families have welcomed babies thanks to the groundbreaking technology. However, to this day, many myths persist about the procedure and why a person would opt for IVF. Learning the truth can help to destigmatize IVF and encourage people to seek more information.

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1. IVF is only for female infertility

The truth is that infertility impacts men and women at nearly equal rates. In a third of all reproductive cases, men are the sole cause of conception difficulties, while women comprise another third. Both members of a heterosexual couple contribute issues in the final third of cases. The conclusion is that male infertility is a real issue, and women shouldn’t bear the brunt of pregnancy dialogues when conception doesn’t occur as planned.

2. IVF is only for infertility diagnoses

Assuming that only people struggling with infertility would need artificial reproductive therapy (ART) is incorrect. IVF, along with other fertility treatments, is used by various individuals. For example, same-sex female couples often rely on IVF and other therapies so that one partner can carry the baby. Other women may prefer to use a surrogate to avoid potential pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes, nausea, or preeclampsia.

3. IVF always works

If only this myth were true. The reality is that while IVF is one of the most effective ART methods available, the process isn’t guaranteed to ensure conception and a healthy pregnancy. Many factors can impact a woman’s likelihood of experiencing a successful IVF round. Common criteria include age, egg quality, the number of rounds completed, any underlying medical conditions, sperm quality, and in some cases, how many eggs are retrieved.

4. IVF is the only fertility treatment

Although IVF gets all the attention, the method is just one of many that can be employed. Other options can include intrauterine insemination (IUI), artificial insemination (AI), egg freezing, and fertility drugs. The proper treatment solution will depend on a couple’s needs, budget, and age.

Is IVF the right choice?

IVF is a popular option many envision when the word infertility is mentioned. While the ART procedure is considered the most successful of all the potential solutions, not all women are ideal candidates. Choosing the right fertility treatments starts by meeting with a reproductive specialist and undergoing a complete evaluation. By speaking with a professional, individuals can determine the best course of action and ideally achieve a healthy pregnancy.

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