February 11, 2007
Many people delay their childbearing to finish their education and establish their careers. Unfortunately, this has come at the price of decreasing one’s chance to get pregnant. Since human reproduction is very inefficient to begin with, IVF has provided many a means to have a family, especially when some centers are reporting a pregnancy rate of up to 70% in women under 35 y/o. When considering that the pregnancy rate through any other means is no better than 20%, some couples don’t want to deal with these odds and simply decide to do IVF. Of note, you must be careful when asking your doctor or looking at “blanket” pregnancy rates, as these will always vary according to a woman’s age, blood FSH values, and fertility history. If you’re going to ask this question, ask about the center’s particular pregnancy rate according to your medical profile.
There are some couples who have tested normal on all their fertility tests and yet they can’t seem to get pregnant, having a diagnosis called unexplained infertility. Some of these couples don’t get pregnant through some conventional infertility treatments which include pills or injections combined with inseminations. IVF is usually a good option to achieve a pregnancy for these couples.
IVF isn’t just for issues relating to women. Since the advent of Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), men in reality only need to produce one sperm that can be injected straight into the egg. Although ejaculated sperm is always of better quality than sperm that has to be retrieved from the testes, either type of sperm can be injected into the egg to hopefully create fertilization.
Since IVF is relatively safe and efficient, in the US close to 1% of all babies born today are conceived through IVF. This number is certainly higher in urban areas where many more delay their childbearing. If you do go through this procedure, your child will most likely have classmates that were conceived through the same method and you will long forget how you conceived your child once you see yourself as a proud and happy parent.