For women who have been unable to conceive and fulfill their dream of having a child, IVF treatment has become possibly their best hope of becoming a mother. The letters IVF are the acronym for in-vitro fertilization. This is a process whereby eggs are fertilized by sperm outside the body (in-vitro) before being placed inside the woman until they develop into what is hopefully a healthy baby.
Becoming a Mother through In Vitro Fertilization
Different Types of Treatment
There are a range of IVF treatments depending on the complications that have caused the woman to be unable to conceive naturally. These methods include ovarian hyperstimulation, embryo culture, embryo selection, embryo transfer, natural and mild IVF, egg and sperm preparation, and final maturation and egg retrieval. There are additional techniques that are often required as an adjunct to IVF such as cryopreservation, preimplantation genetic screening or diagnosis (PGS/PGD), embryo splitting, embryo profiling, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, and the list goes on.
In short, IVF is a complex procedure that has evolved over the past 40 years or so together with general advances in science and medicine as well as specific advances in IVF that have developed from four decades of experience with the procedure.
IVF Success Rates
In a 2009 study released by the Society for Reproductive Medicinewhereby the average national IVF success rates per age group using non-donor eggs in the US was reported, the pregnancy rate for women under 35 years of age was 47.6% and this fell at a reasonably linear rate to 20.5% for women aged 41-42. Similar numbers for a live birth rate were 41.4% falling to 12.6%. With the live birth rate, the decrease in the chance of giving birth accelerated with the aging of the woman. Consequently, even with all the advances in science and medicine, having IVF treatment is no guarantee of receiving a child, especially for older women.
To maximize the chances of success from an IVF procedure, it is best to stick with the real experts in the field; doctors who have performed the procedure countless times and been exposed to a broad range of disorders that have required different IVF techniques to overcome them. Although the US is a world leader in many things, in the field of IVF it is trumped by a little country that may surprise you when you read the name – Israel.
Israel has a government policy whereby women under the age of 45, irrespective of marital status, religion, or sexual connotation, are entitled to as many IVF procedures as required until they bear two children. This policy is totally funded by the Israeli taxpayer and is enshrined in the national law. Irrespective of the economic situation of the country, no politician will dare raise this issue as an area to cut the budget. This has resulted in Israel developing an abundance of expertise in this area as Israel has the highest IVF rate per capita in the world. In 2010, 1 in every 25 Israeli children was born via IVF as against 1 in every one hundred American children. Notwithstanding that the US has a very high level of IVF treatment, Israel is the world leader in the field. It also costs approximately 30% of the price of a similar procedure in the US.
Wherever you opt to have your IVF treatment, do your homework before embarking on this adventure and hopefully your determination will be repaid.
About out Guest Author
Written by Sharon from the Hadassah Medical Center, visit to find out more information on ivf and private medicine.