Many couples who are unable to conceive naturally now have a higher chance of becoming parents because of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). It is the most effective method for helping people who struggle with infertility to get pregnant, encouraging many such couples to opt for it. However, there are problems with false information and myths around it. Because of this, despite its popularity and high success rate, individuals are still hesitant to give it a try.
Regardless of the significant number, there are several myths and false beliefs about these reproductive techniques. The fact is that many of these myths are only due to a lack of knowledge. Clarifying these misconceptions can help remove the social stigma associated with infertility and IVF as it can improve the access to care.
The Channel 46 collaborated with Dr Lavanya R, Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF Fertility, busts some of the most popular myths about IVF.
Myth 1: Changes in lifestyle can increase the success rate of IVF.
Reality: It’s not certain that IVF will be successful if people start working out, eating healthier, leading an active lifestyle, and giving up sedentary habits like smoking or drinking. Fertility is impacted by poor nutrition and women who are underweight or have a BMI over 30 may also have trouble getting pregnant. Getting enough sleep is one lifestyle change that can actually assist to increase the success rate of IVF. According to research, women who get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night have a higher chance of having a successful IVF round.
Myth 2: IVF is a painful process.
Reality: People think that the IVF process is painful and uncomfortable. However, the procedure has grown much simpler and more practical as a result of medical advancements and the advent of new recombinant medications.
Myth 3: It requires complete bed rest during and following the treatment of IVF.
Reality: Expectant IVF mothers need the same amount of rest as ordinary women once fertilisation has been achieved. However, of course, each situation is unique and depends on the patient’s condition.
Myth 4: IVF is specified for infertile couples only.
Reality: Consider IVF if couples have a hereditary condition that could affect their baby’s health. IVF allows same-sex partners to use one another’s DNA to conceive a child. To finish the process, they would either use donor sperm or donor eggs.
Myth 5: You have no control over how your IVF cycle will turn out.
Reality: Good ovarian reserves in women increase the success rate of IVF. Women must also be aware of the state of their uterus’ readiness for implantation. To determine if implantation is possible or not, fibroids, scar tissue, and polyps in the uterine cavity are examined using ultrasound and X-ray technology. Fallopian tubes must be clean and devoid of fluid in order for IVF to be successful. Before beginning an IVF cycle, sperm count, and semen analysis are also performed. As a result, the testing process is in charge.
Myth 6: IVF is risky, and the birth abnormalities and deformities that result are passed on to the babies.
Reality: That is untrue. Ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome has a very low risk of illness in IVF recipients. The likelihood of having a baby with abnormalities is about the same as when pregnancies are unplanned.
Myth 7: Fertility treatment causes cancer.
Reality: There is no evidence to support the claim that IVF or other infertility therapies raise the possibility of ovarian or breast cancer. Progesterone and oestrogen levels may fluctuate as a result of the drugs used to generate numerous mature eggs.
Ovarian cancer risk is higher if female factor infertility. However, this is true independent of infertility treatment. The risk of ovarian cancer in this population is hypothesised to be increased by genetic factors that result in infertility.
Myth 8: Pregnancies obtained through IVF are more challenging and end in caesarean birth.
Reality: It’s important to keep in mind that an IVF pregnancy is just like a naturally occurring one. A caesarean section could be required for a variety of reasons other than IVF itself. These issues can even arise in pregnancies without IVF.
However, IVF mothers tend to be older women, and their new babies have been regarded as “special” because their conception followed a protracted struggle with infertility. Many times, couples opt for an elective or scheduled caesarean delivery in order to guarantee a safe delivery.
IVF and other assisted reproductive technologies have assisted many couples throughout the world in becoming pregnant. It is a sad fact that even in the 21st century, couples who are experiencing infertility still have to deal with prejudice and condemnation, which makes them reluctant to seek help. Breaking down misconceptions and preconceptions about infertility and treatments like IVF is the only way to address this problem.
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