In the world of infertility, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is often viewed as “the last stop” on the infertility track. What most people don’t realize is that IVF can be the first and most successful option for many couples who battle infertility, or for whom traditional conception and pregnancy aren’t an option – like same-sex couples or women with infertility diagnoses that make it impossible for the sperm and egg to meet via non-assisted methods.
7 Benefits of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
Here are 7 of the ways IVF can exponentially increase a couples’ chances of enjoying a healthy pregnancy and childbirth.
- IVF works where other infertility treatments fail. In some cases, patients move through a range of fertility treatments before arriving at the IVF “station”: fertility medications, intrauterine insemination, and so on. However, there are certain infertility diagnoses that will cause your doctor to recommend IVF from the get-go so you don’t waste your time and money on fertility treatments that are less likely to work. These include infertility diagnoses such as blocked fallopian tubes, severe male infertility factor, reduced ovarian reserves and/or advanced maternal age (typically any woman over the age of 38).
- It can be used by anybody. In-vitro fertilization isn’t restricted to the mother of the baby, it can also be used by surrogate or gestational carriers so a range of people can become parents and participate in the pregnancy and labor experience. This includes same-sex couples, women who are physically unable to carry a baby full-term or single women, to name a few.
- You can use donated eggs and/or sperm. There are times when a fertility specialist may recommend using donated eggs and/or sperm. In these cases, the egg can be manually fertilized in the clinic and a resulting, viable embryo can be used for IVF, which increases your chances of getting pregnant the first or second time around.
- You have control over timing. Patients who are focused on their careers or who may have a unique life situation that affects exactly when they want their baby to be born will find that IVF gives them more overall control. Eggs or embryos can be cryopreserved for future use. You can then choose a window of time when you want to be pregnant – or when you want your baby to be born – counting backwards to determine the best time to proceed with IVF. IVF can also help with spacing children in a way that works best for your family.
- Increase your chances of having a healthy baby. Genetic screening is a powerful new technology that helps to ensure your baby is born healthy. By utilizing genetic screening – called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) or preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) – you can ensure the fetuses used during IVF are free of known genetic markers. These can be linked to life-threatening medical conditions such as cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, sickle cell anemia and Tay Sachs disease. The tests are not done arbitrarily but, rather, if the mother and/or father tests positively for these diseases or if there is a family history of serious genetically-linked diseases.
- Decrease your chances of miscarriage. The most common cause of miscarriage is a genetic abnormality, which causes the body to terminate the pregnancy naturally. By using PGD to determine the genetic viability of an embryo ahead of time, mothers have a better chance of enjoying a healthy pregnancy and carrying the baby full-term.
- Increase your chances of conception. IVF with PGS has the highest success rate of all of the other assisted reproductive options. Multiple cycles can be used if necessary to increase a woman’s chances of fertilization, a healthy pregnancy and live birth.
Would you like to learn more about the benefits of IVF or determine whether you are a candidate for assisted reproductive technology? Contact us here at Northern California Fertility Medical Center to schedule a consultation.
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