In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a laboratory procedure during which eggs are fertilized outside of the womb by sperm. From 1987 to 2015, one million babies were born in the U.S. from IVF or other assisted reproductive technologies (ART).
There are many reasons why IVF has risen in popularity as a go-to fertility care service, some of which include declining fertility rates, delayed family building, increased use of fertility preservation, and more. What was once a relatively unknown and seemingly far-fetched procedure is now part of the cultural lexicon, featured in TV shows and movies without explanation necessary.
IVF through the years
So, how did this procedure become mainstream? The easy answer is that as science evolves and we adapt to new ways to build families, cure diseases, and solve problems, we simply get used to a new normal. Modern family building benefits from societal understanding of not only how ART services work, but also how they function to grow families who would otherwise be unable to have babies. More people are using IVF care because it’s available and a frequent go-to strategy.
Additionally, the simple explanation for why IVF is used over other fertility treatments like intrauterine insemination (IUI) is because, for many couples, IVF presents their best possible route for success. Yes, IUI is more affordable and less involved than IVF is, but in cases where IUI is unsuccessful (sometimes multiple times over), IVF is ultimately what was needed all along. In such cases, it can be due to patient insistence that IUI is attempted first or a few times ahead of IVF. Fertility specialists will always provide their best recommendations, but it is ultimately up to a patient to decide how a treatment plan moves forward.
IVF information for prospective patients
If you are considering IVF treatment or if IVF treatment has been recommended, there are things that can be helpful to keep in mind as you finalize your plans. Overall cost for such treatment depends on a variety of factors, such as your fertility clinic’s fees and insurance coverage. Be sure to confirm coverage details within your state with your plan prior to starting treatment.
IVF is recommended in a number of cases, but most commonly for patients with blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, endometriosis-related infertility, inherited genetic diseases, recurrent miscarriages, and low sperm count or motility. In vitro fertilization is also used by couples who have tried other fertility treatments without success and members of the LGBTQ community who wish to pursue growing their families by working with the assistance of an egg donor/surrogate.
If you have questions about IVF treatment, please contact Fertility Solutions today.