5 Myths about IVF (and the truth about them)

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With the rise of women choosing to use IVF to help grow their families, there are many misconceptions and myths regarding the process. If you are considering IVF, it’s important to understand what is myth and what is fact.

 Myth: IVF is too expensive.

Truth: While IVF treatments can be expensive, there are many funding options available. As more people are waiting until later in life to grow their families, more insurance companies are offering coverage for fertility treatments. Employers are also beginning to offer fertility coverage as part of their benefits packages. If those are not viable options for you, other funding options include IVF financing and grants.

Myth: IVF usually results in twins and multiple births.

Truth: Historically, physicians recommended the implantation of multiple embryos to improve the chances of the patient becoming pregnant because it was difficult to know which embryos were viable. This led to multiple births at times. Thanks to new medical advances, implanting more than one embryo has become less necessary and most fertility specialists now advise against implanting more than one embryo at a time. In the event that there is more than one viable embryo, the additional embryos can be frozen and saved for future use.

Myth: Frozen eggs are less effective than fresh eggs.  

Truth: While it may have been true in the past that success rates with fresh embryos were higher than frozen due to the risk of damage to the embryo during the thawing process, vitrification (egg or embryo freezing) technology has advanced and now leads to about 99% embryo survival. This means that today, success rates with frozen embryos is comparable to fresh embryos.

Myth: IVF is only for people trying to get pregnant right now.

Truth: More and more women are opting to use IVF to preserve their eggs for future use. Freezing a woman’s eggs in her early-to-mid thirties improves her chances of having a biological child in the future without concern about the diminished ovarian reserve.

(Partial) Myth: I’m too old for IVF.

Truth: Though it is true that the success of IVF treatments may decrease among women older than 35, due to diminished ovarian reserve and egg quality, advanced ART (assisted reproductive technology) regimes are able to accelerate treatment and improve the likelihood of a successful pregnancy. Since the biggest challenge for women older than 35 is often the identification of a healthy embryo, with medical advances enabling fertility specialists to more easily identify healthy embryos, IVF gives women older than 35 comparable implantation rates (pregnancy per embryo transferred) to younger women.

Fortunately, many of the myths you may have heard about IVF are not quite accurate. If you have questions about how IVF works and whether it might be a good option for you, contact a fertility specialist to walk you through this journey to creating or growing your family.