In vitro fertilization (IVF) has been a godsend for many couples in Minnesota and elsewhere who experience infertility. Since the 1980s, fertility experts say more than 9 million babies have been born using assisted reproductive technologies, including IVF.
IVF is the most common procedure for couples with fertility issues or same-sex partners looking to start their own families. If you have decided to start this journey, here are five things you should understand even before your first visit to a fertility specialist.
Get in the best physical shape possible
Age is one of the main factors that can impact IVF success. While you have no control over your age at this stage, you can still maximize success by being in the best shape possible before beginning the process. Eating right, getting enough rest, cutting out tobacco and limiting alcohol intake are all extremely important. Weight can also be a factor, but doctors do not recommend crash diets or quick weight-loss methods.
IVF can be costly
One cycle of IVF can run $12,000 to $17,000, and it can take multiple cycles before a successful pregnancy. The cost can be even greater if you need an egg or sperm donor or a surrogate. To help mitigate those expenses, review your health insurance policy to see whether any medications or procedures are covered. More and more employers are offering various kinds of insurance coverage for various types of fertility procedures and processes. Talk to fertility and legal experts about all available options.
You’ll likely experience side effects
IVF is considered a safe medical procedure, but everyone’s body and tolerance levels differ. Most women experience abdominal pain, breast soreness, constipation, spotting, hot flashes, headaches and mood swings. Sometimes, serious complications can arise from the medications – mainly injectables – used to stimulate egg production.
Prepare for the emotional and medical effects
It’s important to understand that IVF often requires multiple tries before pregnancy results. However, it’s not a sure thing. Going through several cycles can be highly stressful for couples. It can also add tremendous strain on your relationship. Talk about the possible outcomes before undergoing IVF and commit to open communication throughout the process.
Don’t forget about the legal considerations
Besides the physical and emotional toll IVF can exact, it’s crucial to address the legal issues. Our team has helped protect the rights of thousands of individuals and couples undergoing assisted reproductive technology (ART). Lawyers who specialize in this area address concerns related to surrogacy, egg and sperm donation and same-sex family building. Even if you are not using third parties to build your family, there are important and significant legal issues surrounding the future use, custody, and control over embryos created during the IVF process for married couples using their own genetics. Everyone using any kind of assisted reproductive technology should consult an experienced attorney about any and all legal issues that may arise prior to commencing the process. We offer a free consultation to help you understand these issues before you start. Our goal is to minimize your legal risks so you can focus on the joy of growing your family.