In vitro fertilisation (commonly known as IVF) has helped many parents who are unable to conceive naturally have a child of their own.
But how much do you really know about this technological reproductive wonder? Here are 10 fascinating facts to know…
10 fascinating facts to know about IVF
1. Infertility affects 1 in 6 Aussie couples
There are more than 70,000 cycles of assisted reproduction treatment delivered in Australia each year resulting in over 13,000 babies.
2. It literally means “fertilisation in glass”
The egg and sperm are fertilised in an incubator outside the body, then the embryo is transferred back into the woman’s uterus. The whole process up to the embryo transfer stage usually takes six to eight weeks.
3. A typical cycle costs around $9,000
According to IVF Australia, an IVF cycle will cost $9,290 though prices vary on the treatments.
4. Medicare can help you out
In Australia, Medicare gives you about 50 to 60 per cent of the cost and people can go for more than one cycle as there is no capping.
5. It’s an 8 step process
Your doctor prescribes a course of drugs for you to take to stimulate your ovaries into hopefully producing 12 to 15 mature eggs.
Then your drug response is monitored with an ultrasound examination and blood tests.
Two days before the eggs are collected, you undergo a hormone injection, which triggers maturation of the eggs.
Your doctor will give you a light general anaesthetic and retrieves your eggs using an ultrasound-guided technique. This process is short and simple.
On the day of egg collection, your partner provides a sperm sample.
The sperm and eggs are put together in the lab and hopefully the eggs fertilise and early embryo development begins.
Two to five days after egg collection, one or two embryos are placed in your uterus.
Two weeks later, you take a pregnancy test and hopefully it’s successful!
If you have additional embryos that can be used, they can be frozen and saved for later.
6. There are side effects but they’re rare
Physical side effects can include headaches, tiredness, bloating and mood swings.
In very rare cases, the woman may experience ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). This is abdominal swelling due to a fluid build up and it causes severe pain and breathing difficulties. Women suffering from this may need to be hospitalised.
7. Success rates depend on the age of the patient giving the egg
Generally speaking, if you’re under 30 then there is a 50 per cent chance of conception per IVF treatment. This goes down to 20 per cent for your first treatment over the age of 40.
8. But there are things you can do to improve success rate
Things like quitting smoking, reducing your alcohol intake, eating a balanced diet and being in a healthy weight range can help.
Want to find out your BMR and get started with your weight loss? Find out how to measure it here.
9. The world’s oldest mum gave birth at 66
Thanks to IVF, Romanian woman Adriana Iliescu gave birth aged 66 in 2005. Wow!
10. Some of your favourite celebs have conceived babies with IVF
Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen, Celine Dion and Home and Away star Ada Nicodemou are just a few.
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