Busted: 10 common myths about In Vitro Fertilisation

As a treatment option for infertility, IVF or In Vitro Fertilisation is not without its fair share of myths.

Many people view IVF treatment as an expensive treatment that only movie stars and business people can afford. Some even firmly believe that IVF treatments result in twins and triplets. As appealing as that might be to a few folks, today, Dr. Sweta Gupta - Consultant, Moolchand Fertility & IVF - tells us that this isn't true. We asked her about the most commonly believed myths about IVF treatments, and this is what she says...

Myth: IVF is the solution for all infertility problems

Fact: False, IVF is one of the treatment options for infertility. There are other options like ovulation induction (OI) with medications, Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI).

Myth: IVF is only the last option

Fact: False, it can sometimes be the first treatment option as in women with bilateral blockage of tubes, severe male infertility and advanced age.

Myth: IVF is only for affluent people

Fact: False. Though it is expensive, the cost of IVF has not increased massively over the years. It is less than some other major procedures like heart surgery or joint replacement.

Myth: IVF is limited to a younger population only

Fact: False, IVF technology can be used even in older (post-menopausal group) ladies using donor eggs from younger females.

Myth: IVF is successful in all cases

Fact: False, IVF is successful in up to 40% of cases. Success depends on a number of other factors like age of the female, cause of infertility, centre of expertise, biological and hormonal reasons, etc.

Myth: IVF requires admission in the hospital

Fact: False, it does not require overnight admission. It is, by and large, an out-patient treatment. Only the egg-collection procedure requires day-care admission.

Myth: IVF always result in multiple pregnancies like twins or triplets

Fact: Not true, the chances of multiple pregnancies can be reduced by reducing the number of embryos transferred, especially in young women.

Myth: IVF babies have a significantly high risk of birth defects and malformations

Fact: Not true. There is a slight increase in major malformation (1.3 times), as compared to spontaneously conceived pregnancies. This is expressed as 1 in 12 pregnancies following assisted reproduction as compared to 1 in 15 in spontaneously conceived. But the absolute risk of having a child with congenital malformation remains low.

Myth: IVF is covered by insurance

Fact: False, it is usually not covered by major insurance companies. Though, it is advisable to check with the insurance company before starting an IVF treatment.

Myth: IVF is dangerous

Fact: No, it is not dangerous, infact it is a safe treatment. Only 1-2% of patients may become unwell because of severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. Also, this can be minimized with close monitoring.

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