In Vitro Fertilization is an extremely complex process. Medically speaking, of course, but emotionally as well. Not being able to naturally conceive a child is obviously stressful and emotionally taxing. Couples that go through IVF are in for an emotional roller coaster where they will face their hopes, fears and dreams. It’s not a surprise, then, that IVF is surrounded by so many myths that end up making the process even more confusing for everyone involved. Here are the most common ones.
1. IVF is your last chance to have a child
Some people seem to think that IVF is the last resort for couples wanting to have a child and if it doesn’t work, nothing will. While it is true that IVF is probably not going to be anyone’s first choice, it is only one in a sea of options for couples wanting to conceive. Depending on the reason a couple might be looking into assisted reproduction, there are other possibilities to consider, including egg and sperm donors or surrogate wombs. Of course, there is also the option to adopt if having “biological children” is not important for the couple in question.
2. IVF is the end-be-all solution of infertility
Unfortunately, IVF is not always successful. In fact, its success rate depends on multiple factors, including age and number of embryos implanted. Women under 35 usually have around 41% chance to conceive using IVF, and that percentage only goes down with age. While it is great that medicine can help couples so much, we are still not able to guarantee success with IVF. As hard as it might be, it’s important for couples (and their friends and family) to have realistic expectations when going into treatment.
3. Insurance will cover every cost
This is another myth that makes it harder for people to empathize with couples struggling with infertility. “Why don’t you just do IVF?” is a dangerous question to ask, and not only because results are far from guaranteed. Only 15 states in the US have laws to guarantee that insurance providers cover IVF treatments. Even in those states, providers will cover only parts of the treatment and that varies from carrier to carrier. When a single IVF cycle can cost as much as $15,000, the financial burden can be too much for many, many couples. And with a “best case scenario” of a 41% chance of success, most couples will have to go through the process more than once.
4. Hormone injections make women’s emotions unstable
IVF hormone injections have little to no effect on a woman’s emotions. What does have an effect on her emotions is the fact that she is going through an arduous, expensive and difficult process. Not to mention, infertility is a hard thing to process for many women, and needing an IVF treatment in the first place can be associated with very negative feelings, especially if her environment is not really supportive. On the other hand, if the treatment is successful, she will finally have a chance to experience pregnancy and have a child of her own, something she once feared might never be possible. There are a lot of complicated emotions to juggle, but none of them is because of the hormone injections.