In vitro fertilization (IVF) has been in use for decades now, bringing hope for millions of couples across the globe. You may often hear different kinds of information from different people about IVF. Some of them may have actually undergone the IVF procedure and some may just be passing on news they have heard from another person. It is common for people to get confused on hearing various bits of information through different sources.

This could get quite complicated and create additional stress, especially when you are in your initial stages of making a decision about getting an IVF procedure or if you have already decided and are ready to get your procedure soon. The most important aspect during this stage is to consciously understand that everything you hear may not necessarily be true. Despite the growing usage of IVF, there are certain myths that constantly keep going around.

Let us take a look as some of these myths and check them against the corresponding facts.

1. Myth: IVF treatment is always successful.

Fact: Although all couples undergoing the process of IVF may hope for some good news, it is not always the case. The success of IVF treatment is determined by several factors including age of the woman, quality of sperms and eggs, number of embryos being transferred, psychological stress levels, health status, etc.

2. Myth: IVF procedure can be performed at any age.

Fact: In general, as age increases the chances of a women to conceive gradually decreases. The same concept is linked with IVF treatment. A woman’s ability to produce healthy eggs for fertilization decreases with increasing age. This results in difficulties to create an embryo to transfer into the uterus, during the IVF process. As the uterus becomes weaker with age, it may not support the process of pregnancy.

3. Myth: IVF is only indicated for couples with infertility issues.

Fact: Though IVF may be commonly known for the treatment of infertility issues in couples, it can also be used in couples who are unable to conceive due to other reasons. For example, couples with genetic disorders that may pass on to their child may opt for IVF.

Although embryos are created using the couple’s eggs and sperms, the embryos are evaluated for genetic problems before they are transferred to the uterus. Only the healthy embryos will then be transferred. Same-sex couples may also choose the IVF process to create an embryo using one partner’s DNA and selecting a donor for sperms/eggs.

4. Myth: Following specific diets increases the chances of a successful IVF treatment.

Fact: There is no scientific evidence to support that certain kinds of special diets increase your chances of a successful IVF treatment. Although a balanced diet containing essential vitamins, minerals and proteins is recommended for a healthy pregnancy in general, special diets do not increase chances of positive results after IVF treatment.

5. Myth: IVF is the only solution for infertility.

Fact: There are various treatment options for infertility based on your specific condition and causative factors. Infertility is determined by a number of factors assessed by your doctor including your medical history, sexual history, physical examination and certain laboratory tests. Once the causes are established by your doctor, different treatment options such as fertility drugs, hormone treatments and surgeries are considered based on your condition.

  1. Myths and facts about Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). Resolve: The National Infertility Association. Accessed on 7 July, 2021.
  2. Albertini D, Crosignani P, Dumoulin J et al. IVF, from the past to the future: the inheritance of the Capri Workshop Group. Hum Reprod Open (2020); 3.040. Accessed on 7 July, 2021.
  3. Yeshua A, Lee J, Witkin G, Copperman A. Female Couples Undergoing IVF with Partner Eggs (Co-IVF): Pathways to Parenthood. LGBT Health. (2015);2(2):135-139. Accessed on 7 July, 2021.
  4. Strowitzki T. Different indications for IVF and ICSI. J Gynaecology (2000); 33(11):777-781. Accessed on 7 July, 2021.

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