Why is IVF a "Go-To" Fertility Treatment?
Posted on July 23rd, 2021
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is perhaps the most common fertility treatment that is offered in the United States. IVF involves the creation of embryos in a laboratory environment from eggs and sperm that are retrieved from patients and/or donors. The embryo(s), once healthy and matured, are then implanted into the female patient’s (or a gestational surrogate’s), uterus where a pregnancy will be achieved if the process is successful.
During the last decade, IVF has become increasingly advanced, with fertility treatment technologies working towards achieving higher success rates while making fewer demands on patient’s time and energy. However, this certainly isn’t to say that the process is without stress. For example, patients are still required to:
- Attend appointments over a period of months or longer
- Take medications including injections to promote egg development or cycle synchronization if needed
- Coordinate with multiple practices, organizations, and facilities
- Maintain a financial commitment to the process
- Maintaining a tight fertility care schedule while also juggling the responsibilities and demands of everyday life
So, why is IVF such a “go-to” fertility treatment?
It’s important to keep in mind that every infertility case is different. For example, there can be two separate patient cases of male-factor infertility caused by low sperm count and a fertility specialist may recommend different courses of treatment depending on the unique needs of each patient. This being said, the effectiveness of IVF can broadly cover a wide range of infertility diagnoses.
Advanced IVF Options
IVF in and of itself is an advanced laboratory procedure. However, to further improve your chances of success, there are many add-on options available. These include:
IVF vs. IUI
Patients may wonder why their provider recommends IVF over intrauterine insemination (IUI), which is less costly and less invasive. Sometimes patients request multiple rounds of IUI first, even when IVF is the recommended medical route because they wish to avoid the commitments of IVF treatment. However, in some cases, these patients may eventually need IVF after IUI does not result in a pregnancy.
On its own, IUI can certainly be a useful treatment option when male infertility factors are present. If performed alongside ovulation induction, IUI can even be used in cases of ovarian dysfunction, endometriosis, or other conditions that impact female fertility. However, IVF ultimately offers a higher chance of success, especially if the patient is older or there is a limited number of mature follicles. While there are many situations in which IUI is both appropriate and successful, the two procedures are not interchangeable.
Because of its success rates, comprehensive range of fertility care, and technological advances in recent years, IVF has become a go-to treatment for many forms of infertility. It may not be called for in every case, and it may only be needed after unsuccessful treatment, but IVF has helped to bring thousands of babies into the world and will continue to do so year after year.
You can request a consultation with Aspire Fertility here. Our practice offers IVF, IUI, third-party reproduction services, and more.