To provide more information, we have listed a set of frequently asked questions by our patients and their answers. We hope that you will find this informational and enlightening. Should you have any question not found here, do drop us a note at the contact us page.

What is IVF?
IVF is the common acronym for In-Vitro Fertilization, a frequently used conception practice when there are certain issues with the reproductive health of the mother, father, or both. IVF is simply the uniting of egg and sperm in vitro (in the lab). Subsequently the embryos are transferred into the uterus through the cervix and pregnancy is allowed to begin. The process is done in conjunction with ovulation induction through drugs, monitoring of hormone levels and follicle scans with ultrasound.

How common is infertility and IVF?
More than six million people in the United States are affected by infertility. While there are a number of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) available to infertile couples, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is by far the most utilised of these methods. In fact, IVF accounts for more than 99 percent of all ART procedures and is the oldest ART procedure with the first baby born in 1978. IVF was introduced in the United States in 1981 and from 1985 through 2000 and more than 139,000 births of babies conceived through IVF. Through the end of 2002, almost 300,000 babies have been born in the US as a result of reported ART procedures.

When should I consider IVF?
If you are under 35 and have been trying to conceive for a year, or if you are over 35 and have been trying for 6 months, you may want to explore the possibility of IVF. IVF is not a cheap option, so you will want to do tests with your doctor to determine that this is the best route for you. Some good candidates for IVF include those who have:

  • Tubal problems can mean a woman’s fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged, which can make it difficult for the egg to be fertilized or for an embryo to travel to the uterus.
  • Male factor can include a low sperm count, problems with sperm function or motility which can inhibit sperm from fertilizing an egg on its own.
  • Severe Endometriosis affecting both fertilization of the egg and implantation of the embryo in the uterus.
  • Ovarian issues which prevent the release or production of eggs.
  • Abnormal uterus shape, fibroid tumours, or exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) as a fetus.
  • Unexplained infertility

If I conceive with IVF will my baby have the same odds of being healthy as if I had conceived naturally?
Yes, recent research has shown no increased risk of prematurity, pregnancy hypertension, extended delivery, need for C-section, or other delivery complications, and children resulting from IVF have the same incidence of birth defects as children who are conceived naturally. There are slightly elevated numbers of miscarriages among IVF mothers, but this may be due to the close monitoring of these woman, versus woman in the general population that may not have been aware of their pregnancy prior to (or following) their miscarriage.

However, this assumes all critical factors are the same such as age, number of births, exposure to carcinogens, condition of the mother’s body and uterus. This does not take into account if the mother has twins or triplets with IVF, which elevates many risks including increased miscarriage rate, low birth weight, prematurity, abnormal presentations, prolapse of umbilical cord, placental abruption, fetal distress and bleeding after delivery.

Does IVF increase my chance of having twins or triplets?
Of the 78 percent of pregnancies as a result of IVF that result in a live birth, about 50 percent are singletons, 24 percent are twins and 5 percent are triplets or more. The natural rate of multiple births is around one percent, however where a pregnancy results from assisted reproduction, the rate rises to 20-40 percent. In IVF procedures, the step where the sperm penetrates the ovum is achieved in the lab to increase the odds of success of pregnancy. Because many couples have multiple successful embryos implanted, the chance of more than one of them thriving is higher. Also, the percentage of male fetuses decreases as the number of fetuses per pregnancy increases, resulting in more females being born in multiple pregnancies.