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Pros and Cons of In vitro Fertilization: costs, success rate, multiple births, egg storage

What is in vitro fertilization?

In vitro fertilization is a technology that helps couples that are infertile conceive a child. In vitro fertilization is also called IVF.

The in vitro process bypasses the sexual act of conceiving a child. In vitro fertilization takes place in a lab. Eggs are harvested from the mother, fertilized by sperm from the father or a sperm donor and implanted into the mother's uterus. Couples who are not able to have children due to fertility problems often consider in vitro to fertilizaion to become pregnant.

In vitro fertilization was first successfully performed in 1978 by Dr. Edwards and Dr. Steptoe. Dr. Edwards was an embryologist. Dr. Steptoe was a gynecologist.

Some of the most common pros and cons of in vitro fertilization are listed below.

Pro: It is a possible solution

In vitro fertilization gives hope to those couples who are told they are unable to have children. Since in vitro fertilization was first introduced in 1978, thousands of couples have used in vitro fertilization as a way to conceive a biological child.

Con: It doesn't always work

In vitro fertilization does not have a 100 percent success rate. Success rates will vary with each hospital. The American Pregnancy Association reports that for a woman under the age of 35, the success rate for in vitro is around 30 to 35 percent. That success rate declines as the age of the mother increases.

Pro: Multiple Eggs Harvested

If you want to have more than one child via in vitro fertilization, your doctor can harvest several eggs and freez them for a later procedure. This is beneficial because you will only pay for the the harvesting portion of the procedure once. This is an important aspect for women who want to harvest eggs to use when they are older.

Con: It is expensive

In vitro fertilization is an expensive process. One round of in vitro fertilization can cost between $10,000 and $20,000. Also, there is no "return policy" if it is unsuccessful.

Pro and Con: Multiple Births

Multiple births is both a pro and con. If you want twins or triplets, you have a good chance of having them. With in vitro fertilization, there is a 25 percent chance of conceiving twins, and a 2 to 3 percent chance of triplets. The negative aspect of multiple births is an increased risk that the babies will have birth defects. The mother may also risk abdominal pain, severe nausea, weight gain and other risks of overstimulating the ovaries.

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