Debunking IVF Myths

There are a lot of myths surrounding the process of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), an assisted reproductive technique, that is prevailing in society which is misleading. Couples who are unable to conceive look for alternate methods of pregnancy. 

In a conservative society like India, a lot of meaning is attached to having a ‘child of your own and young couples are often pressurised by families to produce offspring within the first few years of being married. Yet, reproductive health is not something that is discussed openly in families. As a result, couples who are trying hard to conceive but are unable to do so are willing to try every trick in the book to have a baby. Hence, it becomes important to consult one of the best IVF doctors in Mumbai to get the right guidance and treatment. No wonder that there are a lot of myths surrounding the process of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), an assisted reproductive technique, that are prevailing in society which is misleading. A few common ones are detailed below:

“IVF always leads to multiple babies”

If IVF is done as per guidelines and international practices, there is only a 20 per cent chance of multiple pregnancies as the number of embryos that are transferred should be restricted. For the pregnant woman, there is a higher chance of complications if the pregnancy is not single. But, in cases where the age of the woman is advanced or if there is a history of repeated failures, it is advisable to transfer more than one embryo. In such cases, doctors prefer a blastocyst transfer.

“IVF increases your risk of getting cancer”

There is no established connection between cancer and IVF in any studies or medical research. This is a myth. Couples can take a reasonable number of attempts of fertility treatments without any increased risk of cancer for either the man or woman. There is no risk of cancer for the unborn child either, even in the adult years.

“IVF is a traumatic procedure”

Traditionally, IVF has been associated with a lot of pain and discomfort, especially in the initial few days when the woman partner has to take daily doses of hormone injections. But, with advancements in medicine and new recombinant drugs being introduced, the process has become a lot less painful and more convenient. These are not intramuscular and less painful to take.

“Overweight women can’t go for IVF”

It is common for women who don’t have an ideal body weight to conceive and deliver a baby naturally. Weight only becomes an issue if they are suffering from a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) as it could have an impact on the quality of eggs. For such patients, we recommend weight loss before we start treatment. But, if the age of the woman is advanced and we don’t have time for a weight loss program, cryopreservation of embryos is suggested. The frozen embryo can be implanted after 3-6 months when the patient has lost weight to avoid complications in pregnancy such as hypertension and diabetes.

“An IVF baby has an increased risk of birth defects”

The IVF procedure doesn’t increase the risk of congenital birth defects. On the contrary, it allows for preimplantation genetic testing of the embryo to rule out the chances of the child getting congenital anomalies or chromosomal defects in high-risk cases. These include cases when the age of the woman is over 35 years, or the male is over 50 years, or where there is a family history of genetic disorders.

“One IVF failure closes your chances of success forever”

If a couple has a failed IVF cycle for any reason, this does not mean that there is no hope of a pregnancy. It is important to understand why it happened and modify the treatment accordingly to achieve success in future cycles. There have been many cases where patients have conceived after 4-5 IVF cycles when they were supplemented with the right processes like laser-assisted hatching, or injecting platelet-rich plasma into the uterine cavity, or even supplementing the diet with antioxidants, etc.

“IVF is the only cure for infertility”

IVF is not the only answer to all infertility problems. It is important that the couple is evaluated and offered a correct diagnosis for their problem. In many cases, simple counselling, medical treatment, surgery, or IUI can help with conception. It is recommended that couples must seek medical help and go for IVF only if indicated by a doctor after due diagnosis.

“There are more complications in IVF pregnancies”

A woman’s best chances of conception and a healthy delivery are when she is less than 33 years in age. After the age of 37, this declines rapidly, and the risk of complications in pregnancy for both the mother and baby increases. The process of IVF does not add to these complications, which are age-induced. But, patients suffering from infertility must not delay seeking medical help at the right time. At a younger age, the success of IVF is also much higher.

Look for some of the top IVF clinics in India and find the best doctor for yourself. A good doctor will tell you about all the possible pros and cons of the treatment based on your medical condition. You can visit one of the best IVF doctors in Mumbai for a tailor-made treatment protocol with a high success rate.

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