If you’ve been trying to conceive for a while, you might be thinking about turning to IVF – after all, it’s usually the first fertility treatment people think of when they are faced with difficulties in conceiving.
Firstly, what exactly does IVF involve? IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) is a fertility treatment used to overcome a range of fertility issues, where an egg and sperm are joined together outside the body, in a specialised laboratory. The fertilised egg (embryo) is allowed to grow in a protected environment for some days before being transferred into the woman's uterus. This process increases the chance that a pregnancy will occur.
But there are a few misconceptions out there in regards to IVF, so let’s talk about it.
At The Fertility Centre, we know that it can be very stressful and discouraging if you’ve been struggling to fall pregnant. So we’ve made it that much easier to get a little extra help to grow your family – simply book online to meet one of our fertility nurses / book a bulk-billed GP consult at a time that suits you. It’s free, and we’re happy to help.
Let’s get to it – here are the top 5 myths about IVF, straight from the fertility experts.
1. IVF is always expensive
FALSE - While it’s true that IVF involves a lot of technology, science and teamwork – often equating to high fees – not every clinic is the same when it comes to affordability.
At The Fertility Centre, we are committed to providing access to some of the most affordable IVF treatment in Australia.
Infertility can happen to anyone, and that’s why The Fertility Centre is committed to offering an affordable clinic of choice for everyday Australian’s. A team of fertility specialists manage your care and your out-of-pocket costs are a fraction of what you would pay at other IVF clinics. The Fertility Centre is also backed by Australia’s largest IVF group, Virtus Health, meaning you have access to the leading minds in fertility, the latest techniques in IVF, with proven results.
2. IVF is often the first and only fertility treatment tried
FALSE - You may not always need IVF, so we start simple by doing an IVF fertility assessment to better understand your individual situation, and then determine whether IVF is right for you.
The fertility assessment is the first step to identify the possible causes of what’s affecting your chance of conceiving. Results of your assessment are reviewed by an experienced fertility specialist who is best qualified to recommend a suitable treatment plan for you.
Both male and female factors can equally contribute to fertility problems, so it’s important to come to the appointment together.
And if IVF isn’t right for you, we’ll let you know. Our fertility specialists might instead identify simpler and less invasive treatments such as ovulation induction to try first.
3. You can do IVF at any age
FALSE – Female fertility is highly dependent on age. In fact, female age is the number one determining factor for a successful pregnancy, and although IVF does increase the chances of conceiving, the number and quality of the eggs collected in an IVF cycle decrease the older you become. This is because the number of healthy eggs in a woman’s ovary dramatically declines as time goes on – especially once she is over 35.
This is why it’s best to seek advice from a fertility specialist after 12 months of trying naturally if you’re under 35, and after 6 months if you’re over 35.
When it comes to male fertility, though, age is less of an issue. And even if the male partner’s sperm count is lower, there are options available. ICSI is an additional part of an IVF treatment, where a single sperm is injected into each egg to assist fertilisation using very fine micro-manipulation equipment. In most cases, ICSI can be used to overcome severe male infertility.
4. You’re way more likely to have multiple births through IVF
FALSE - Historically, IVF treatment was commonly linked with multiple births. During an IVF treatment, an egg and sperm are joined together outside the body, in a specialised laboratory. The fertilised egg (embryo) is allowed to grow in a protected environment for some days before being transferred into the woman's uterus. Multiple births occurred due to the number of embryos being transferred back inside the uterus.
Increased technology and laboratory capabilities in recent years have resulted in significant improvement in the chance of a successful pregnancy per IVF cycle, even with a single embryo transfer. This is why fertility specialists often recommend single embryo transfers rather than multiple embryo transfers – and why twin births as a result of IVF have decreased. So the chance of having twins, for example, would usually coming from having identical twins relating to the embryo splitting into two, rather than having multiple embryos transferred into the womb at the same time in an IVF cycle.
You might be thinking, but why are twins or multiple births a bad thing? Although they make for adorable outfit coordination, twins and multiple birth pregnancies are higher risk for the mother. So it’s something we try to avoid.
5. Waitlists are huge to start treatments / all the appointments will impact my work
FALSE - At The Fertility Centre, forget the long waitlists to start your treatment. There are appointments available now to get started, and an IVF cycle only takes about four weeks (the length of a normal ovulation cycle) once all testing has been completed and your treatment is confirmed.
All scanning and monitoring appointments can also be done in the early morning before your 9-5. We purposefully open at 7:30am in most of our clinics so that we can minimise the impact on your day-to-day working life. For the egg collection procedure, you will be at the hospital for about four hours, and you’ll need someone to drive you home afterwards. This is the only time we suggest taking off, and not returning to work until the day after the procedure.
If you’re looking for a compassionate and dedicated team of IVF experts to help you through the entire journey, look no further.
The patient experience at The Fertility Centre is second to none as you’re at the heart of what we do. You have a team of fertility experts, fertility nurses, counsellors and administration team, all working together with you, to ensure your fertility journey is as smooth and stress-free as possible.
If you’re ready to get started, we’d be happy to discuss next steps and start to get to know your individual circumstances. Simply book a free consult with our fertility nurse/ a bulk billed GP consult, at no cost to you.