The life benefits of having a family are too great to be listed. Yes it is hard work but all worth it. But not everyone can fall pregnant easily. If you have been trying for over a year you should be assessed by your doctor. Until the 1980s, if you had trouble conceiving, that was pretty much it. In vitro fertilisation (IVF) has changed all that.
What is IVF?
IVF is the process of fertilising the egg and sperm in a laboratory rather than inside a woman’s fallopian tubes. It involves placing the eggs from the female together with tens of thousands of sperm. Fertilisation takes place over the next few hours; the fertilised embryos are then set aside to grow for several days before the best embryo is transferred back into the woman’s uterus.
If the sperm quality is not up to scratch, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is used to insert one sperm into each egg.
How successful is IVF?
IVF success rates are good, but depend on age and lifestyle.
If you’re in your early 30s there’s a 50 per cent chance of falling pregnant each time you try IVF. A woman in her early 40s would have a 20 per cent chance with each cycle.
Australia still has an excellent track record in IVF success.
How much does IVF cost?
That varies and there are differences between provider, Medicare and private health insurers that will reimburse some cost but not all. That is where having a Surgery Payment Plan can help you.
The risks of IVF
If you’re going down the assisted reproduction path, it’s important to know it doesn’t come without risk. The chances of birth defects for babies conceived using IVF is 7.2 per cent. The odds of major birth defects in babies conceived using intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a 5.8 per cent for babies conceived naturally,compared to a 9.9 per cent risk for babies conceived using ICSI.