Tuesday, March 03, 2020

5 Myths About IVF Debunked

In-vitro fertilization is a medical procedure that helps women struggling with pregnancy. Both medical and surgical procedures are utilized to allow a sperm to successfully fertilize an egg. During this assisted reproductive process, a woman’s egg is removed from the body and fertilized in a clinical lab setting. From here, doctors help the fertilized egg implant in the uterus. According to Conceive Health, a fertility clinic in Waterloo and Toronto, there are many myths perpetuated about IVF, which might prevent a woman struggling with pregnancy from looking further into the procedure. With that in mind, here are five common myths about IVF debunked:

Young Women Don’t Need IVF
One of the biggest myths surrounding IVF is that young women don’t have infertility issues. However, age is just one of many potential causes for infertility. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 9% of women between the ages of 15 to 29 report difficulties staying or getting pregnant. Fourteen percent of women between the ages of 30 and 34 also reported these difficulties. Although difficulty increases after 35, it’s clear that one out of ten women before 35 struggle with pregnancy.

You’re More Likely to Have Multiple Babies
You may have heard that pregnancy through IVF means you’re more likely to have high-order pregnancies, which involve at least two implanted eggs. What many people don’t realize is that IVF is associated with twins because individuals undergoing the treatment elect to have two embryos transferred to increase the chances of a successful surgery.

If one of those embryos were to split, the result would be one set of identical twins and one fraternal sibling. Naturally, the more embryos you transfer, the higher the chance of multiple offspring. Many people undergoing IVF opt for a single transfer, though identical twins are still possible in this case, at roughly the same chance rate as with a normal pregnancy.

Fertility Lubricants Can Fix Fertility Issues
Research has shown that traditional lubricants can kill sperm or inhibit their movement. While it won’t hinder your ability to get pregnant, it can lessen the chances. This is where fertile friendly lubricants come into play. These lubricants are safe for sperm and embryos, and have been lab-tested to ensure they don’t have a negative impact on fertility.

However, the myth comes into play when people start to believe fertility lubricants increase their chances of pregnancy; this is only true when compared to traditional OTC lubricants. If you struggle with fertility, these lubricants will not act as a cure.

Lifestyle Changes Cure Infertility
In some cases, lifestyle and diet changes can decrease your chances of fertility. However, this is very rare; in cases where it works, it’s likely because the lifestyle change was highly significant (like addressing an eating disorder or quitting smoking). The issue is that many publications and products promote the idea of “fertility diets” that involve lifestyle changes. However, these are almost never backed by scientific evidence, and even when lifestyle changes do work, they have a very small percentage of success. Furthermore, it is very difficult to determine where a successful pregnancy came from for women with fertility issues.

You Can’t Have IVF With a High BMI
Women considered overweight may have heard that they will be turned away for IVF if they have a higher body mass index (IVF). While there is some merit to this conclusion, it’s important to understand that there is also plenty of gray area when it comes to high BMI and IVF. On the one hand, some clinics do refuse surgery on women who have average height and a BMI higher than 40. This is because certain prenatal conditions and complexities, like stillbirths and miscarriages, increase as body weight increases.

To ensure a successful process, some clinics do have that BMI placeholder. However, many modern clinics are taking a holistic approach to IVF, preferring to see every patient regardless of BMI. This is because subjects vary from case to case; one person with a BMI of 40 could be extremely healthy compared to another, and may have struggled with weight since birth. High BMI does not equate to an unhealthy lifestyle, particularly when it comes to food intake.

Because of this, women who are overweight shouldn’t refrain from seeing a specialist simply because they assume they will be turned away. A great doctor will explore all options, examine your health from a high-level overview, and offer suggestions on how to move forward.

This is a guest blog entry.

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