Do you ever feel like the fertility odds are against you? Have hope! Since the late 1980s, the reproductive technology called in vitro fertilization (IVF) has helped millions of couples get pregnant, even when the fertility odds seemed to not be in their favor. In fact, in the U.S. today, about one out of every 100 women giving birth used IVF to get pregnant.
And the technology is continually getting better. Over the decades since IVF was pioneered, fertility specialists and researchers have steadily increased your odds. According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies, the national average chances today of taking home a baby with each IVF try has increased from about 5 percent 30 years ago to above 30 percent currently.
In vitro fertilization at our Louisiana fertility center can offer real hope for those who so desperately desire children. But, many couples wonder is IVF right for them? What diagnoses would lead a patient to choose IVF as their best chance to conceive?
In vitro fertilization is the treatment of choice for a wide range of reproductive issues. IVF is most commonly indicated in cases of infertility when both fallopian tubes are blocked or absent. In this situation, the egg and sperm will never be able to meet up during a natural conception cycle. Since IVF extracts mature eggs and fertilizes them in a lab setting with your partner’s sperm, conception can completely bypass the need for fallopian tubes. The fertilized embryo gets transferred directly back to your uterus for implantation.
While IVF is used mainly for blocked tubes, other good IVF candidates include women with fertility disorders like endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS. Additionally, women with abnormal ovulation cycles can also get pregnant with IVF, since fertility drugs can be used to induce ovulation and generate healthy eggs. Even women that do not produce healthy eggs can use IVF if they want to use donor eggs.
If your partner has male factor infertility, such as low sperm count or quality, you may also benefit from IVF. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI, is a procedure commonly used in IVF in which just one healthy sperm is required to fertilize an egg during IVF, making it a preferred fertility technique for men with low sperm count.
While there are many infertility patients who may benefit from IVF, it may not work for everyone. Conditions that can interfere with IVF success include fibroid tumors, ovarian dysfunction, abnormal hormone levels, and uterine abnormalities. Women with these issues may face lower rates of pregnancy with IVF.
Additionally, age is the number one indicator of success with IVF or any infertility treatment. Women older than 37 may have a reduced chance of getting pregnant with IVF since egg production slows as a woman approaches age 40. Women past their late 30s who do not produce healthy eggs may consider using donor eggs to increase their chances of conceiving with IVF. Use of donor eggs with IVF achieves similar pregnancy rates for women of all ages, and about 50 percent of women that attempt IVF with donor eggs are able to get pregnant.
To learn more about in vitro fertilization, contact our Louisiana fertility centers to schedule an appointment.