Sheila and Amit were trying to get pregnant for quite some time. Sheila began to get really worried and went through a lot of turmoil in her mind, having to deny trying and makeup stories telling friends and family who would, every once in a while, pop up the question 'Aren't you guys trying for a child?'.
Then, one day, she met Lata, a close friend, they got talking, and when Lata found her friend was out of sorts, she asked Sheila what was wrong. Sheila then confided with Lata and told her that they've been trying for over a year now, but somehow, they are unable to get pregnant.
Knowing about this situation because another friend of hers went through an IVF, she advised Lata to go and see a fertility doctor. Sheila was apprehensive and told Lata, 'I am not sure about IVF, how safe and successful it is, and what about the baby? I don't think babies born through IVF are as healthy as normal ones.
Surprised, Lata told Sheila, 'Do you know which year it is?' It is 2022, and with the advancement of medicine, becoming a mother is no longer a distant reality for couples struggling to get pregnant naturally.
What we saw in Sheila and Lata's conversation is common. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths around IVF, and I, Dr. Lavi Sindhu, Clinical Head at Medicover Fertility, will help burst some of these.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most effective forms of assisted reproductive technologies, and with the advancement of IVF, many childless couples have welcomed the joy of parenthood. The practice of IVF has evolved over the years and fulfilled the long-cherished dreams of several childless couples in the safest manner.
IVF is a procedure that involves combining an egg with sperm in vitro (in a petri dish) to carry out fertilization. The treatment process involves stimulating a female’s ovaries and collecting more eggs to fertilize them with sperm in a lab-based culture medium. After fertilization, the egg (zygote) is kept in an embryo culture for 2 to 6 days and develops into an embryo (blastocyst) which is then carefully implanted in a woman’s uterus to attain a successful conception.
With the advancement in IVF technology, live birth rates through IVF have increased in the past few years, which shows it is one of the finest and safest ways to become pregnant. Additionally, the advances in IVF have also caused a reduction in the number of embryos being transferred in a single attempt, thereby decreasing the risk of multiple births and associated health issues.
Despite showing a high success rate, many couples are still hesitant to become parents through IVF. They believe that it is unnatural and is carried out in a laboratory, unlike the natural process of conception. People think so because they lack comprehensive knowledge about the procedure. So, before debating whether couples should opt for IVF, let’s get a thorough understanding, of who will help us bust all myths pertaining to IVF and its rightfulness.
Some commonly believed myths about IVF:
- IVF is unnatural
Many of us believe that IVF babies are unnatural as they are born through an artificial procedure, and this is why they are not as healthy as naturally conceived ones. Well, which is not true and is merely a false notion. The only difference between the two is the approach through which they are conceived; else entire process of carrying a pregnancy for nine months is similar in both the cases.
- IVF is painful
Many people think IVF is a painful procedure; however, it’s not true. In practical, some processes like egg collection and embryo transfer are done under anesthesia to make it a convenient and painless process for the patients.
- IVF babies have congenital disabilities and mental distortions.
The IVF treatment does not cause any short term or long-term health risk to the newborn, and the statement can estimate the authenticity of the procedure that Louis Brown has stated once, ‘Had there been anything at all wrong with me,’ ‘I think it would have been the end of IVF.’
- IVF requires hospitalization.
IVF does not require admission to the hospital. Yet, the egg collection(retrieval)procedure may require a few hours, after which you can easily resume your daily routine.
- IVF needs bed rest
No, this is completely a myth. IVF pregnancy should also be treated as normal pregnancy and does not require complete bed rest. After embryo transfer, you can go home or office and resume your daily routine with optimal precautions.
- IVF and age limit
Age plays a vital role in estimating the success of the process because IVF can only be done till the age you have a sufficient number of healthy eggs. However, even if you opt for a younger woman’s eggs, an older woman’s uterus may not be strong enough to carry a pregnancy to term. Therefore, before trying IVF, it is advisable to consult a fertility specialist to get an overview of all possible challenges you might encounter during the whole procedure.
We hope this article will help you clear your doubts about the IVF process. It is an advanced process of conception that does not pose any health hazards to the well-being of the baby or parents and therefore babies born with IVF are as normal as naturally conceived babies.