In vitro fertilization (IVF), a process whereby an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body, is seen by many women who are unable to conceive naturally as a panacea to their dream of becoming a mother. And the fact is that IVF has been responsible for many couples becoming parents and raising a family. However, before consulting with your doctor and potentially embarking on an IVF “adventure,” here are a few things that perhaps you should know.
- It Was 35 Years Ago Today – well perhaps not today; however, in 1978 the first IVF birth occurred, or as it was referred to back then, a “test tube” baby. Of course, during the course of the past 35 years, science and medicine has come a long way. New techniques evolved or were developed as advances in medical instrumentation and the understanding of factors resulting in the inability to conceive were discovered.
- Guess Who Leads the World in IVF? – if you thought that the US leads the way in IVF, as it does in so many other fields, then you would be wrong. In fact, a little country in the Middle East by the name of Israel has the highest per capita rate of IVF births. Due to a government sanctioned policy giving every women under the age of 45 irrespective of marital status, religion, or sexual preference the opportunity to have two children via IVF (regardless of how many procedures are required and at no cost) Israel has developed unparalleled expertise in this field of medicine.
- The Cost of IVF – the cost of IVF procedures is not cheap; however, countries like Israel offer the procedure to foreigners. Of course the procedure is not free for foreigners, although the cost is approximately 25-35% of the cost of similar procedures in the US. And don’t forget, Israel is the world leader in this field.
- How Many Children Do You Want? – in the case of a successful procedure, it is not uncommon for there to be spare embryos. Have you considered what you will do if this occurs with you? If you will have ethical problems with this occurring, then consider it prior to undergoing IVF.
- It Will Not Be Easy – be warned, IVF treatment is no stroll in the park. You will be given drugs that play havoc with your hormones and you will be both physically and emotionally challenged in ways that you have never experienced. And even though it is the woman who actually physically undergoes the procedure, her partner will bear the brunt of her moods. Consequently, IVF is a procedure that has an effect on the couple not just the person directly undergoing the procedure.
IVF is no guarantee of becoming a parent but with today’s know-how the chances are better than ever. The path may not be easy but the result of a successful pregnancy will more than compensate for the trauma.