Still undecided where you stand on the IVF advantage/disadvantage debate? We aim to clear up the plus points and minuses to IVF treatments so you can decide if it’s right for you…
The IVF Advantage/Disadvantage Conundrum
For many couples who are struggling with unexplained infertility, IVF could be the answer. In this article, we explain the pros and cons of In Vitro fertilisation.
IVF can be an excellent solution for many couples faced with fertility issues. Knowing if it’s the right choice for you and your family can be difficult however. Here, we’ve outlined some of the IVF advantage/disadvantage arguments for couples and individuals who are considering IVF treatments.
Is IVF right for everyone?
IVF is often a viable option for single, heterosexual, and homosexual individuals who want to build a family of their own, but the treatment isn’t right for everyone. We believe that the first question you must ask yourself and your doctor, is: what is the cause of my infertility?
With infertility, as with many medical problems, there can be any number of reasons which cause you to struggle to get pregnant and IVF treatments may not be your first course of action.
IVF treatments are ideal for couples who have suffered trauma or disease to their fallopian tubes, have low sperm motility or need the help of an egg or sperm donor.
Advantages to IVF Treatments
While this isn’t an exhaustive list, these advantages of IVF should provide you with good points to consider and a place to start your research and discussion:
- IVF treatments allow individuals and couples to have a biological child.
- The first baby born successfully thanks to IVF was born in 1978. Since then, this technique has become commonplace for many specialists in reproductive health.
- With the help of a donor, IVF treatments are an excellent option for single parents and same-sex couples.
- With advancements in IVF technologies, embryos can now be screened for inherited and communicable diseases.
- If you’ve been diagnosed with problems in your fallopian tubes, some types of male infertility, or fertility due to “unknown reasons”, IVF is a proven and effective way to address these issues.
- IVF treatments can also give your doctor some insight into “failed fertilization”. This allows them to visualize how the sperm and egg interact with one another. The ICSI technique (injecting a sperm directly into the egg) is a very effective technique of fertilization. This has between a 50%-80% success rate.
- IVF offers couples the option to cryopreserve or freeze unused embryos for future implantation.
Disadvantages of IVF
As with all big decisions, there are many, many factors to consider in the IVF debate. Here we’ve shortlisted some of the disadvantages of IVF treatments, which are worth weighing up before you commit to IVF:
- This might seem all too obvious but remember that the success of IVF treatments is not guaranteed. This can be emotionally devastating to couples who have already been through several attempts. Although IVF is proven to be an effective method, there are many factors and steps involved.
- As with any invasive procedures, IVF treatment can pose some health risks and complications. Infection, bleeding, pain, and miscarriage are all potential side effects of IVF procedures. Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, although unlikely if controlled properly, is also a possible and serious side effect.
- Most people would not consider multiple pregnancies a direct disadvantage of IVF treatment. But the likelihood of becoming pregnant with more than one child is often higher. This happens when more than one embryo at a time is transferred into the womb. While this also increases the possibility of a positive pregnancy test, implanting two embryos instead of one increases the chances of a multiple birth by about 30%.
- Another aspect to bear in mind is the cost of IVF, especially if you need more than once IVF cycle or embryo transfer. If treatments aren’t successful, costs and disappointment begin to add up.
- Although not common, during the implantation process, certain embryos may implant themselves outside of the uterus, resulting what’s called an ectopic pregnancy. This occurs when an embryo implants itself somewhere other than the uterus, such as the fallopian tubes. An ectopic pregnancy can be a life-threatening event for the woman carrying the baby.
IVF Advantage/Disadvantage Debate at a Glance
IVF has provided solutions to millions of couples and individuals across the globe. But it’s important to be aware of both sides of the IVF advantage/disadvantage debate of the procedures involved. Only you and your family can truly decide if IVF treatment is right for you. With the help of your doctor, you can find the best-suited treatment and fertility clinic for you and your future family, ensuring that you not only have the medical and physical support that you need but that your chosen clinic understands your needs. Make sure you discuss any reservations you have with the professionals before you commit to any process. Ultimately, this is your family, and whatever choice you make will be the right one.