Thinking of IVF, well what are the chances?  So, as a couple you have been trying to conceive for a while, but it still not happening. Even though everyone else around you seems to be on their 2nd pregnancy you still have not got off the starting block. More than likely routine tests have been done and you may even be already referred to a fertility clinic.

I think we have all seen the ads on TV which tell us that 1 in 6 couples will struggle to conceive. For some it will come as a complete shock, for others who may have already have a diagnosis of PCOS or Endometriosis it may not.

Any process that involves a woman’s egg or embryos (fertilized eggs) being handled falls under the umbrella term assisted reproductive technology (ART).

The most common type of ART is in vitro fertilization, commonly known as IVF. During IVF a woman’s eggs are removed from her body and fertilized in a lab. Once they’ve started to grow, the embryos are returned to the woman’s uterus or frozen for use in the future.

Success rates also vary between clinics, so it’s important to discuss this with whatever fertility specialist or clinic you choose. Be sure to ask about live birth rates rather than just pregnancy rates.

Overall women typically see success rates of 20-35% per cycle, but the likelihood of getting pregnant decreases with each successive round, while the cost increases. The cumulative effect of three full cycles of IVF increases the chances of a successful pregnancy to 45-53%.

Having looked online for the purpose of research, I checked out the statistics for some of the popular Irish clinics. Unless you are a statistician, they can be difficult to decipher. Firstly, some are not broken down to tell you whether it’s a chemical pregnancy or if there was a foetal heartbeat, rarely can you see the live birth rates. Some even include egg donor programmes along with IVF using your own eggs.

Lots of couples decide to go abroad, particularly to Spain and the Czech Republic and Greece for fertility treatments. These are state of the art clinics with a steady flow of couples heading over. For fresh egg donor cycles this will probably be a lot cheaper than Irish clinics.

The Extras:
Keep in mind that this genetic testing of the embryo can add an additional 3,000 plus on top of your ivf package. Bringing the entire cost up 9,000.

PGS (pre genetic screening) while there have been many studies into its effectiveness, none conclusively show that PGS improves live birth rates.

EU BLOODS- These are standard bloods for both man and woman.
Interlipid Infusions – These are used with women who have shown up with Immune issues which prevent them from getting pregnant.

Recently I was looking at an interview with Dr Winston who was one of the pioneers in the area of IVF, he feels that more women should get better investigations before starting IVF including simple blood work, pelvic x-rays laparoscopy and hysteroscopies. So, before choosing to ensure that as much of this has already been completed.
IVF is a tough journey but so worth while when it works out. Manage your expectations along the way, success it not always guaranteed no matter how good things may look for you and your partner.

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