You may have decided that undergoing an assisted reproductive technology procedure is the best way for you and your partner to get pregnant and become doting parents to your own child. You have researched about your options and came across the most popular and widely used ART procedure, the in vitro fertilisation or IVF. Here, let us discover the pros and cons of IVF and how it would affect your decision to undergo this ART method.
Pros and cons of IVF: The benefits
Increased chances of getting pregnant. This is, of course, the most significant advantage of IVF. The possibility of bearing a child becomes more apparent with IVF compared to other traditional and natural fertility methods. Its intricate process and highly-monitored progress under a specialised environment make fertilisation and implantation of a healthy embryo successful.
Lowered chances of child defect. During the IVF process, there are additional procedures used to detect an abnormality in an embryo. We all know that we have genetic disorders that can be passed to our offspring, and these procedures lessen the chances of your child being born with the same condition. These procedures are called Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) or Comparative Genomic Hybridization (CGH) that screens each embryo for gene disorders and chooses the healthiest embryo to implant in the mother’s womb.
Pros and cons of IVF: The downsides
Pregnancy is not 100% guaranteed. Although ART methods increase the chances of getting pregnant, it is not 100% fault-free. Factors that cannot be manipulated including age, poor quality of eggs and sperm cells, your body’s reaction to the fertility medications, and many more may affect the process and result to failed pregnancy.
Failure during the process. There are instances where unforeseen situations hinder the eggs to be fertilised, or impede the embryo to implant in the uterus. There may be times where the eggs harvested and incubated with the sperm will not combine successfully, or a healthy embryo fails to embed itself into the uterus, causing you to have your menstrual period that signals failed pregnancy. These instances, no matter how diligent and careful you are during the procedure, can happen more often than what other fertility experts advertise they would.
Miscarriage. Yes, this might happen after the IVF process. No matter how successful the start of the IVF process is, if something happens during your pregnancy that makes you lose the baby, the whole process is deemed unsuccessful via the live birth rate. Unfortunately, as we age, the risk of having miscarriage also increases, so chances of becoming pregnant are still uncertain even thru IVF.
Multiple pregnancies. Now, this is a two-edged sword. You have been longing for so long to have a child, and now you are having more than one!? What a joy! But this also means that added risk in pregnancy is expected for the mother and child. You can look at multiple pregnancies as a positive remark if you are really planning with your fertility expert to have twins or triplets and are willing to risk it all just to have babies. But if you are only aiming for one child, this is a problem with regard to you and your unborn child’s safety, as well as the overall preparation of having two or more children all at the same time.
Now that you know the pros and cons of IVF, let it guide you and your partner’s expectations on what can happen during your chosen assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedure. Talk to your fertility specialist about these factors so he or she can guide you into further understanding all there is to know about IVF.