A Reproductive Endocrinologist at University of Utah Health tells us about In-Vitro Fertilization

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(Good Things Utah) – Did you know that 1 in 8 couples are affected by infertility, that’s 7.3 million women in the United States. Dr. Megan Link, a gynecologist at the University of Utah Health joined the show to talk about In-Vitro Fertilization.

What is IVF treatment and how does it work?

IVF is a sequence of procedures that involves the fertilization of an egg outside a woman’s body in a specialized lab. It is often performed after other methods of trying to get pregnant have failed.

It starts with the number of eggs, enhanced by injectable medications called gonadotropins, which causes eggs to grow and varies from woman to woman, cycle to cycle. Women during this time may feel a little unlike themselves with bloating and discomfort — moodier than they typically would.

What are some key signs and symptoms of infertility?

  • Failure to conceive after a year of trying
  • Difficulty staying pregnant
  • Recurrent miscarriage
  • Irregular painful periods

How long does it take to get pregnant with IVF?

Age is a factor that affects most IVF success rates. One cycle of IVF takes about two months. Women younger than age 35 will get pregnant and have a baby with their first IVF egg retrieval and subsequent embryo transfer(s) about half the time.

Women who don’t get pregnant following the first IVF cycle still have very good chances of getting pregnant on second, third, and even more cycles of IVF. There are many factors that affect your ability to get pregnant and have a healthy baby using IVF. Your doctor can usually give you reasons why you are not getting pregnant and explain your chances to have a baby with IVF.

What are the success rates for each age and why?

The older you get, the more your hormone levels tend to fluctuate and the quality of the eggs within the ovaries declines through the years.

  • Women under the age of 25 have a 1 in 4 chance of getting pregnant
  •  Women from ages 26-39 have a 1 in 7 chance
  •  Women ages 40 and above have a 1 in 20 chance of getting pregnant.

How do you know if IVF is the right path?

It all depends on your age and situation. As you get older, time is of the essence. The sooner healthy eggs can be retrieved, the better your chances of a successful pregnancy.

If you are under 35 years of age, you should consider IVF after one year of trying to conceive. If you are between 35 and 40, IVF is recommended after six months of trying. And it’s three months if you are over the age of 40. Consulting with one of our fertility specialists can help you determine if IVF is a viable option for your health and situation.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, go to uofuhealth.org/IVF.

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