Louise Brown, born 37 years ago in England, was the first human ever conceived from in vitro fertilization (IVF). At that time, infertility was rarely discussed openly and there were limited treatment options. Since then, major advances in fertility treatment have improved pregnancy success rates and made it more accessible and mainstream. Today, IVF is among the most common fertility treatments, and it may be the answer to your family planning needs. Despite its increasing public attention, there are still many IVF misconceptions floating around:
Myth: IVF causes cancer.
Medical studies to date have concluded that fertility drugs are not linked to the development of ovarian, breast, or endometrial cancer. There are some reports suggesting a possible association with borderline ovarian tumors; however, these malignancies are indolent (cause little or no pain) and have excellent prognosis with preservation of fertility. In fact, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) considers it safe for ovarian stimulation to occur at least six times.
Myth: IVF will always end in pregnancy.
Unfortunately, this is not true. The success of IVF depends upon multiple factors, including the age of the woman and the number and quality of embryos transferred. Women 35 and under have a 41 percent chance of conception, and this percentage decreases the older the woman gets.
Myth: You will have twins, triplets, or more.
IVF is the only fertility treatment that allows control for how many embryos are implanted–you and your doctor determine how many embryos will be transferred into your uterus. If you choose to have a single embryo transferred, then it would be rare for you to have twins or triplets. There is the possibility that the embryo could split resulting in twins; however, there is no guarantee your embryo will successfully implant into the uterine lining the first time around. This is why many women, especially those who are unable to afford two or more cycles, often opt to have more than one embryo transferred, sometimes resulting in multiple gestation.
Myth: IVF diminishes your ovarian reserve.
Every month, a woman’s body prepares several eggs that may develop, typically with just one that is mature enough to produce a pregnancy. With IVF, all the eggs that are naturally prepared that month are stimulated so they all get an opportunity to mature, which in turn does not diminish your ovarian reserve or impair your future fertility.
Interested in learning more about preserving your fertility? Contact The Fertility Preservation in Pittsburgh today.