Fact or Fiction: 6 Common Misconceptions About In Vitro Fertilization

The K-I-S-S-I-N-G song says first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby cradle. Well, all of that sounds great, but that isn’t the reality for some people. Sometimes the order of life events is different. Sometimes the baby comes before marriage, and for some couples, the baby doesn’t come at all. That’s when a couple might be experiencing fertility issues.

Nowhere in that song does it state anything about having issues getting pregnant. Nonetheless, having babies are an issue that many couples face today. Luckily, there are advancements in technology that help couples achieve the family they’ve always wanted.

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), a third of couples experiencing infertility, age played a major role and the effects of age were more prominent in women.

The Wonderful World of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)… Or is it?

In short, in vitro fertilization is the process of an egg being fertilized outside of the woman’s body. This treatment has proven pregnancy success rates and has been one of the biggest advancements in fertility treatment. Despite the success and attention of this treatment process, there are still many misconceptions that people have about this procedure.

Misconception #1: IVF Procedure Depletes Your Eggs

Let’s go on and say that is definitely FICTION. The way this works is, at the very beginning of your cycle, your body gathers a group of eggs that can be stimulated for that month. Out of that group of eggs, only one of them matures and ovulates, leaving the other eggs to die off.

The procedure with IVF is totally different… it’s the same “type” of process but it’s done differently. Do you remember that group of eggs where only one gets stimulated and the rest of them die? Well, with IVF ALL of those eggs in that group get stimulated to have an opportunity to mature. Plus, nothing happens to the other eggs for future cycles.

Misconception #2: Stimulating the Ovaries Can Cause Cancer

If you really think about it, EVERYTHING gives you cancer nowadays BUT ovarian stimulation is not a cancer-causing agent. There are actually studies addressing this issue and none have shown that this causes cancer. To be fair, some reports suggest a possible association with ovarian tumors but even with those, they’re malignant and you still have a great outcome for pregnancy.

Misconception #3: You Have No Control in the Success of your IVF Cycle

That couldn’t be more wrong. For one, in order to have a successful IVF cycle, you need to choose a reputable IVF center. This is your first step in being in control of the success of your IVF cycle. Secondly, you can talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have about the process as well as general questions about pregnancy.

Your doctor will be able to tell you things you can do to before to optimize your success rate. Depending on your lifestyle habits, he may recommend you to consider a healthier lifestyle with better eating and exercise habits.

Misconception #4: You Have a Higher Risk of Having Multiples (Twins/Triplets)

In case you didn’t know, IVF is the only fertility treatment where you have full control of how many embryos you want to be implanted. So if you don’t want to have three children all in one pregnancy, you have the choice to decide. Do you remember how earlier, we talked about with IVF all your eggs are stimulated? Well, this is how that comes into play… choosing how many stimulated eggs you want to be implanted.

Misconception #5: You Need Bed Rest After Embryo Transfer

This process is not like having a baby, where you don’t need to move around too much. It’s perfectly safe for you to return back to your normal routine… no need to put your life on hold after the transfer. This is definitely a huge misconception.

Misconception #6: If IVF Doesn’t Work It’s Your Fault

This is an absolute myth if there ever was one. With any IVF cycle, success rates vary and there are several factors that play a big role in things. Age and personal health play a major part in the success rate. As mentioned earlier, one thing you have to do in this journey is to be realistic with yourself. As long as you know you are doing everything right, then that is something to feel good about.


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