Thursday, November 12, 2015

Getting over your fear of doing IVF

A lot of infertile couples are fearful of doing IVF. However, the reasons for this fear vary widely, and it's worth looking closely at some of these , and understanding why they are often misplaced.

Thus, some people still believe that IVF babies are weak or abnormal. Their gut tells them that since they are made by manipulating eggs and sperm artificially in the laboratory, IVF babies are not as healthy as non-IVF babies. Some people have religious concerns about tampering with nature, and this is one of the fears which they're often not able to articulate. Little do they realize that over 2 million IVF babies have been born worldwide, and lots of research studies have shown that IVF has no adverse impact on the health of an IVF baby at all. With IVF, we mimic the natural process, so that it's not artificial, but assisted. The IVF process simply allows us to recreate in the lab what's not happening naturally for infertile couples in their bedroom.

Some husbands are worried about the effects IVF will have on the health of their wife. They're worried that pumping their body with hormones will cause them to become fat ; run out of eggs ; affect their future menstrual cycles ; or cause them to become menopausal earlier. Again, these worries are unfounded, because we use natural hormones, which get excreted promptly.

Finally, there are financial concerns - can I afford to spend so much money, when the outcome is so uncertain ?

However, the elephant in the room is the emotional risk - How will I be able to go on living if my IVF cycle fails ?  Once they commit to doing IVF, they're taking a huge step. For one, they're confronting the reality that they have a major problem, which they've not been able to resolve for themselves. Their unstated fear is that since IVF is the most sophisticated tool available in the medical armamentarium to help them to have a baby, and if they deploy this tool and if it fails, then they will have nothing else they can fall back on. Their biggest worry is that then their dreams will come crashing down, and they will never be able to have a baby.

This is why lots of infertile couples people prefer keeping IVF in reserve , with the hope that even if they try simpler treatments such as IUI and these fail, they at least have a backup option which they can explore when the time is right. No one wants to utilize the backup option too prematurely , because in case that doesn't work, then how will they move forward after that.

Patients need to realize that even though IVF doesn't have a 100% success rate, it is the one method which maximizes their chance of getting pregnant quickly. It's easier to deploy this tool when you're young , because not only are your chances of success much better, you're able to enjoy your baby much more, when you are young. This is why it's important not to wait till the last minute before considering IVF. It's one of those things which it is often better to do sooner rather than too late !

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