In vitro fertlization, or IVF, is an increasingly used option for women who are unable to conceive for a variety of reasons.
Boiling Springs Family Medicine physician Dr. Chad Jumper talked about what requirements there are for IVF, the process and the possible results.
Q: What are the requirements, if any, a woman must fulfill to undergo IVF (does a woman need to be married, be a certain age, have a certain income to prove she can take care of children, or have exhausted all other avenues for a baby)?
A: “These types of requirements are typically determined by the center performing the IVF. Different centers have age cut-offs, typically between 40 and 45 years of age. Typically, marriage is not a requirement. IVF is quite expensive, but I am not aware of any income regulations. Before most centers will perform IVF, they will ask that the couple have exhausted other means for conception.”
Q: What are some reasons why IVF is an option?
A: “IVF is used when a woman has problems with her uterus or fallopian tubes, trouble with ovulation, is nearing the end of her reproductive cycle, and when all other causes of infertility have been evaluated or failed treatment. IVF is also an option when a man suffers sperm problems that prevent conception.”
Q: How does it work?
A: “A woman’s eggs are fertilized by sperm in a laboratory. One or more of these fertilized eggs are placed in the woman’s uterus in the hopes they will implant and produce a viable pregnancy.”
Q: Are there limitations to how many babies can result in IVF?
A: “Multiple fertilized eggs are often placed to increase the chances of success. This can result in multiple pregnancies.”
Q: What is the success rate of IVF?
A: “Success rates vary by center and the age of the potential mother. Typically, these numbers are between 30-50 percent.”