In Vitro Fertilization, the medical treatment wherein the process of conception takes place outside a woman’s body, was once considered a science-fiction concept. Today, it is becoming increasingly common and accepted in today’s society. In 2009, 2% of newborns in the United Kingdom were conceived through this system. This course offers new hope to couples who struggle with infertility, but there’s potentially a large cost attached to the procedure, as well as a long proceeding of blood work, tests, injections, ultrasounds, fasting, and other sacrifices. However, couples who have successfully completed IVF Treatment often swear by the system, as it can help these patients regain lost dreams.
Many prospective parents wonder if the risks of IVF are worth the reward of a child. Due to the nature of the treatment, there can be a long process of deeply unpleasant or painful tests and commitments. The answer to this question can be complex, as not all rounds of treatment will result in success. Some of the factors that can change the rate of success include the age of the mother, the number of treatments taken, the mother’s ovulation cycle, and the hormone levels of the parents. IVF treatments are taken in cycles, where a woman will participate in a round of treatment, then wait for the results, and if unsuccessful repeat the process from step one. This can be a daunting idea to face due to the extreme nature of the treatment. However, potential parents face some good odds to conceive using IVF treatment.
The chances of success (from conception to delivery) for IVF Treatment on a single cycle are:
- 30-35% for women under age 35
- 25% for women between the ages of 35 and 37 (average: one in three)
- 5-20% for women between the ages of 38 and 40 (average: one in five)
- 6-10% for women above age 40 (average: one in ten)
These numbers are based off using both the egg and the sperm of the prospective parents. Many couples prefer to use this method due to personal beliefs or preferences. However, if the prospective parents wish to raise the chances of success by a large margin, they can purchase the services of an egg donor. The egg donor is carefully selected to have strong genetics, no chances of disabling hereditary diseases, and a dedication to helping women going through the process of conceiving a child.
Women also have the choice of using ‘fresh’ embryos (embryos produced from a current menstrual cycle) or ‘frozen’ embryos (embryos preserved from a previous cycle.) This choice is a complicated one, that can depend on convenience, personal believes, cost, and other factors. However, when using both fresh embryos When using donor eggs, the rates of success rise skyrocket, regardless of age.
With the egg donor added to the equation, the odds are always raised, but this is true more so for women over the age of 40, leading to the highest rates of success.
- When using donor eggs and fresh embryos, the rate of successful deliveries is 55.1%
- When using donor eggs and frozen embryos the rate of successful deliveries is 31.9%
If a woman has previously had a pregnancy or a child, the rates of success continue to rise. Different clinics also report different rates of success, due to the clientele they accept.
This process allows parents who grapple with infertility a new way to achieve their dreams of becoming a parent. While the process can be stressful and painful from start to finish, the chances of success can be a soothing balm. As the tides of social acceptance change, this option has been opened up to many parents who had run out of options. Countless parents have given birth to happy, healthy children they could not have otherwise conceived thanks to medical technology. Be sure to ask your doctor about this possibility if you find yourself in a situation where natural conception is not an option.