When Do You Need IVF?
When people speak casually about infertility, the letters I-V-F often come up in the conversation. Realistically, however, most individuals or couples don’t truly know what it is and when it comes into play unless they’ve been through it. And there’s also a mistaken notion that IVF is the only way to address infertility. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
In reality, when you’re considering seeking help from a fertility doctor, you should go into the process with eyes wide open…and an open mind as well. You shouldn’t expect that the phrase “you need IVF” will be the first words out of the doctor’s mouth. A good fertility specialist will take the time to find the right solution for your fertility issues, and it may be something other than IVF.
Why NOT IVF?
That’s not to say, of course, that IVF won’t wind up being the solution for you, but there are plenty of reasons why it often isn’t the first recommended course of action.
• It’s quite expensive and, often, medical insurance doesn’t cover the procedure. When couples or individuals require more than one round, it gets especially cost prohibitive for some.
• It’s not an easy process. Any woman undergoing IVF needs to be physically and mentally prepared for it and that might take some time.
• There’s no guarantee of success, despite the cost. That alone is a deal-breaker for some couples battling with fertility.
Should I try other treatments first?
Remember, after testing and a thorough review of your medical history, your fertility specialist will determine the path that’s right for you. In some cases, there may be better, more successful, and less costly options for you to consider.
So much will depend on the underlying reason for your infertility.
• Hormone medications, for example, can help stimulate the production of eggs when fertility problems are linked with poor ovulation.
• Surgery can address blocked or damaged fallopian tubes that are preventing pregnancy.
• Laser treatments can be helpful for those with endometriosis or fibroids and conception may happen naturally after treatment.
• Artificial insemination (the placement of sperm directly into the uterus) may help individuals with unexplained infertility or mild endometriosis and may be a much less expensive option than IVF.
But when do I need IVF?
There are definitely reasons where IVF might be the first (and only) course of action for certain women who have failed to conceive. These include:
• Severe tubal disease – When fallopian tubes are so severely blocked that surgery wouldn’t help, IVF is a logical option.
• Genetic disease – If there’s a high risk of passing on a serious genetic disease, IVF may be the best option or the only option for some. Those who’ve had recurrent miscarriages due to genetic disease might also be aided by IVF.
• Post-cancer conception – If you are a cancer survivor who froze your eggs prior to treatment, you’ll need to use IVF in order to have a biological child.
• Cryopreserved eggs – If you decided to freeze your eggs at a younger age, expecting not to bear a child until later in life when infertility could be an issue, you’ll need IVF in order to use these eggs.
Everyone is different
How many times have you heard this phrase when talking to others about infertility? Well, it’s certainly true. Everyone’s path to IVF (or not to IVF) is unique. Whether it involves treatment with medications, surgery, or something else, your fertility specialist will keep you on track and let you know when and if the time for IVF comes.
It’s also important to remember that IVF may not be for you, even if it IS recommended by your doctor. Take all the time you need to think about it, ask questions, and make a decision that best fits the wants and needs of you and your spouse/partner.
Still have questions? Contact Advanced Reproductive Medicine at (732) 339-9300 for more information or to schedule a consultation appointment.Go back