The decision to undergo in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a deeply personal one. Like all medical procedures, it has its benefits and risks, and only you and your partner can decide if the benefits outweigh the potential risks. Every woman is different, and your fertility specialist will outline the potential risks based on your personal medical history before you make a final decision. However, before you even make that appointment to discuss IVF, there are some basic considerations that you may want to take into account.
IVF Factors to Consider
This is first factor that couples need to consider before going further in their IVF investigations. The procedure is extremely expensive and is generally not covered by insurance. The average cost for one procedure is about $12,000, and that cost has remained fairly steady over the years. Some couples need more than one procedure before it “takes,” so you could feasibly be looking at $20,000-30,000 in fees before you actually become pregnant. Some fertility clinics offer discounts if you pay up front for multiple procedures, while others will allow you to use leftover frozen embryos in subsequent procedures for a smaller fee than a full IVF round
In order to increase the chances of success, your fertility specialist transfers several viable embryos into your uterus during the IVF procedure. In some cases, more than one of those embryos implants into the lining of the uterus, resulting in multiple births. Advances in the technique allow specialists to transfer fewer embryos than in the past, which results in a lower chance of multiple births, but it does still occur in a number of IVF cases. Make sure you are prepared, both emotionally and physically, for this possibility.
Side Effects of the Medications
During the IVF procedure, you will need to take several different fertility medications to control the ripening of your eggs. While serious reactions are typically rare, you will likely experience some of the more common side effects. These include irritability, headaches, bloating, abdominal discomfort, and mood swings. In rare cases, the injected medications used to stimulate your ovarian follicles can result in circulatory problems that require hospitalization.
Between the medications, the financial strain, and the worrying about whether or not the procedure will work, IVF can take a major toll on your emotions. Factor in all the ordinary every day stress, and it can become overwhelming. Before deciding to undergo in-vitro fertilization, make sure you have a strong support system in place and talk to your partner about how the two of you will handle any issues that may arise so there are no major surprises.