Infertility affects more than 6 million people in the United States. About 10 percent of them are of reproductive age. This condition refers to the inability of a couple to become pregnant after attempting to conceive for one year. It's a good thing technology has made advancements that can help a woman become pregnant through several methods. One of these is In Vitro Fertilization.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) was used successfully in the United States for the first time in 1981. After that, more than 250,000 babies were born using this technique. One of the things that make it so popular among couples is that it gives them the chance to have a child that is biologically related to them, something that infertility prevents them from doing the normal way.
IVF is an assisted reproduction method that combines a man's sperm and a woman's egg in a laboratory dish. This is when fertilization occurs. The resulting embryo is implanted to the woman's uterus to develop naturally. Generally, two to four embryos are implanted in the uterus at a single time.
Test Tube Baby is the term often used to refer to a child who was conceived via in vitro fertilization. The world's first test tube baby is Louise Brown born in Oldham, Greater Manchester, England. She turned 33 in 2011. Her parents, Lesley and John Brown have been trying to conceive for nine years but couldn't get pregnant due to blocked fallopian tubes.
According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, the success rate of IVF is 18 to 45 percent. Some factors such as woman's age can affect this success rate. A Stanford University study predicted up to 70 percent success with this assisted method of reproduction.
Despite the high rate of success, only 5 percent of infertile couples around the world use this method. It's the preferred choice among women who have damaged, blocked or no fallopian tubes. It can also help overcome other reproductive problems such as low sperm count or infertility caused by endometriosis.
There are various factors you have to take into account when considering IVF.
- Age is one factor:
Women who are younger than 35 years old and who do not have any problem with the sperm of their partners may consider this method.
- Another factor is cost:
A single cycle of in vitro fertilization costs about $12,000.
It's also important to note that this technique is safe for both the parent and child. A study that involved 1,000 children conceived through IVF found that these children were as healthy as those who were conceived naturally. However, there are some studies that point out that there is a slight increase in risk of genetic disorders among children conceived through IVF. As for the rate of miscarriage, the rate is the same as a normal pregnancy.