IVF: The Three Biggest Myths

March 22, 2013
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In my 30+ years of In Vitro Fertilization experience, I have come across a number of pervasive (yet false) beliefs among patients undergoing IVF. ImageIt is my belief that knowledge is power, so my goal is to provide my patients with the knowledge they need to make the right decisions for their own circumstances. Here is a list of a few such doubts and questions about IVF that I hear relatively often:

In my 30+ years of In Vitro Fertilization experience, I have come across a number of pervasive (yet false) beliefs among patients undergoing IVF. ImageIt is my belief that knowledge is power, so my goal is to provide my patients with the knowledge they need to make the right decisions for their own circumstances. Here is a list of a few such doubts and questions about IVF that I hear relatively often:

1. IVF guarantees success
Unfortunately, this is not true. Like any other medical treatment, IVF is not fail-proof. IVF success rates always vary from patient to patient based on age, approach and diagnosis, and from clinic to clinic depending on the expertise and experience of the doctor and the clinic staff. With more than 30 years of experience in the IVF industry, Sher Fertility Clinics strive to optimize the success rate of each patient based on the complex combination of factors contributing to infertility.

2. IVF is the last option
Though many couples save IVF as a last resort, in many cases it may be the best approach for their situation.  I have seen countless couples that have wasted money as well as valuable years “working their way up” to IVF when it should have been their first course of action and could have saved them time, money, and heartache in the long run. The key is to address each patient individually. For some patients, IUI is the right treatment. For others, IVF will be their best course of action (blocked tubes, etc.). If you took your car to your mechanic with a blown transmission and he told you that they started all their customers with an oil change, then moved on to a brake job before doing anything more “drastic” you would probably look for a new mechanic. The same goes for fertility treatment. The first step should be an in depth diagnosis to find the root cause of the problem, followed by the most appropriate treatment based on that diagnosis. For blocked fallopian tubes or severe male factor issues, this may very likely be IVF.

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3. IVF is only for the rich
There is no denying that IVF can be expensive, but many clinics offer discounted treatment for couples in defined income and occupational categories, or risk sharing plans that focus on the cost of having a baby, rather than the cost of treatment. At Sher Fertility Institute, we have the “Access Plan”, which offers discounted IVF treatment to teachers, “first responders” (police, fire, ambulance, medical personnel) and couples with income under $55,000/year. We also offer risk sharing packages that give couples up to 3 fresh IVF attempts (plus any frozen embryo transfers resulting from the fresh cycles) at a deeply discounted rate.

image: IVF/shutterstock