Unbearable: More Eggs Don’t Increase Chances For IVF Success

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Having a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.

In vitro fertilization is an expensive and exhausting procedure. It involves countless shots, hormone surges and a whole lot of money. People go through this time-consuming process with one goal in mind: children. Why else would you shoot up in parking lots like a drug addict, fork over thousands of dollars for medical procedures that insurance won’t even talk to you about and put yourself and your family through an emotional roll-coaster that makes PMS look like the kiddie ride at the county fair? It takes something pretty powerful to have family’s willingly sign up for this experience. But I bet no one here would argue that kids aren’t worth it.

However, acknowledging the pains of in vitro fertilization, it makes sense that families will do whatever they can to increase their odds of success. Logically, I can understand why couples believe that transferring more embryos will heighten the possibility that you’ll have a baby. After all, each one is a chance for the all-mighty conception. Each little egg represents an opportunity for what these couples have been hoping and praying for, a healthy child!

Parents are willing to take the risk of twins, triplets or even quads if it gives them a chance to have a family. Well, some parents are. My husband is terrified of having twins and triplets might give him a heart attack. But the fact is that twin births in the US are rising and one of the main reasons might be the increased use of IVF to help get pregnant. Parents who feel like it’s worth transferring multiple embryos if it helps their chances of succeeding on the first round.

I think another key indicator in parents willingness to try anything is that intense process that parents go through before they get to IVF. Once you’ve hit the in vitro stage, chances are that you’ve been attempting to get pregnant for years. You’ve had month after month of negative results. You’ve considered buying stock in First Response, because you’ve peed on hundreds of sticks, whether they are fertility indicators or pregnancy tests. You’ve probably gone through failed attempts at artificial insemination, a less invasive measure that fertility clinics try first. At this point, parents have conditioned themselves to assume that things won’t work. After years of failure, it’s easy to understand why parents assume that they need to pull out all the stops.

And then study comes out showing that counter to your logic, transferring three or more embryos does nothing to increase your chances of IVF success. Dr. Scott Nelson, head of the reproductive and maternal medicine at the University of Glasgow is positive of it and he’s trying to educate TTC couples. After all, carrying multiples is inherently more dangerous that carrying a single child. There’s more chance of premature birth and complications. It’s a serious issue that parents should be considering. So it’s important to explain that even though you want the best chance you can have, transferring more embryos doesn’t provide that.

Reproductive health is still a growing and developing field. Couples have more options available than ever before. But it’s important to continue to look at the “baby at all costs” mindset. Educating families about what will really help their odds and what will just make their pregnancies riskier is a great way to start.