In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is an extremely common and effective type of assisted reproductive technology. It involves the combination of an egg and sperm outside of the body in a laboratory setting to facilitate fertilization. Afterward, the fertilized egg is transferred to the uterus, ideally resulting in a successful pregnancy.
Many individuals and couples turn to IVF in order to overcome fertility issues or to prevent genetic disorders. Whether you’re considering undergoing this procedure or simply want to learn more about it, there are some basic things you should know. Below, we’ll answer a few of the most common questions we get from our customers about in vitro fertilization.
In vitro fertilization is a highly effective method of assisted reproduction, but it’s important to understand that it does not have a 100% rate of success. The latest data shows that for women aged 35 and under, one cycle of IVF has a success rate of more than 20%. If three full rounds of IVF treatment are completed, the chance of success increases to around 50%.
That said, the effectiveness of IVF varies greatly according to the individual or couple and the circumstances under which they’re seeking treatment. For example, it may depend on their reproductive history, their lifestyle, and the root cause of infertility.
The most reliable predictor of success is the age of the woman being treated; the older she is, the less likely she is to get pregnant. However, success rates have significantly increased in the last several years, especially for women over the age of 35.
The IVF timeline can vary greatly depending on each individual and procedure. One round of IVF may take around two to three weeks to complete, or even longer. The process usually starts with fertility testing, which may be followed by a period of taking fertility medications to increase the chances of success.
The IVF procedure itself begins with the retrieval of the egg. It usually takes about five days to fertilize and grow into an embryo, before being transferred to the patient’s uterus. Several days after the transfer, she’ll be given a pregnancy test to see if the procedure was successful.
If the initial round of IVF does not result in pregnancy, the patient can choose to undergo further rounds of treatment. Considering all of this, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to get pregnant with IVF.
In some cases, it may be possible to choose the sex of your baby while undergoing IVF. This is done through preimplantation genetic testing, or PGT. Although this technique is usually used to screen for heritable diseases and genetic abnormalities, it can also determine the sex of each embryo. This allows the patient to choose whether a male or female embryo will be transferred to her uterus.
It’s important to point out that choosing the sex of your baby is not the same thing as choosing the gender, which is a socio-cultural construct – not a scientific fact. When we refer to the sex of the embryo, we’re distinguishing between those with XY chromosomes (male) and those with XX chromosomes (female).
There are certain ethical concerns regarding sex selection through IVF and PGT, and each patient will need to thoroughly examine their own feelings about these issues before deciding if they want to choose the sex of their baby.
Insurance coverage for in vitro fertilization varies according to a few different factors. First, it may depend on where you live, as some U.S. states have laws in place regarding it.
Insurance providers are required by law to cover or offer coverage for infertility treatments in 15 states: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and West Virginia. In most cases this includes IVF, but in California, Louisiana, and New York, it does not.
In addition to where you live, whether or not you’re covered depends on your specific insurance provider and plan. Some plans may cover IVF in full, while others only cover some of the procedures involved, and others exclude it altogether. If you don’t live in one of the states listed above, it’s up to your provider to decide if they’ll cover IVF treatments – so you should check with them directly to find out exactly what is included.
In vitro fertilization can be quite expensive, especially if it’s not covered by insurance. One cycle of IVF usually costs at least $12,000–15,000, or even significantly more than that. The actual cost varies depending on the place where you’re being treated and the state where you live.
The cost of IVF also depends on your specific circumstances, as some people may require additional procedures in order to get pregnant. For example, you might need fertility drugs, genetic testing, or an intracytoplasmic sperm injection, each of which will increase the total cost. And of course, if the first cycle of IVF doesn’t work, each additional cycle will require a similar investment.
If you’re not covered by insurance and can’t afford to pay these fees out of pocket, another option is to travel abroad for treatment. In many countries, IVF is significantly less expensive than it is in the U.S. Many people find that even with all the flights and travel costs involved, undergoing IVF in another country can save them thousands of dollars.
At MedicW, we can help guide you through the process of seeking and undergoing IVF treatment abroad. Get in touch to find out more and receive a free quote.