When most couples decide they want to be together for the long term it doesn’t take long before the topic of children is raised. What many couples fail to realize is that falling pregnant hand having children doesn’t always occur naturally. Since the first ‘test tube baby’ as she was called was born in 1978 there have been almost 70,000 successful pregnancies as a result of the IVF process.
What is In Vitro Fertilization?
The IVF process starts with drug treatment. These are fertility drugs aimed at making the woman’s body produce more eggs than usual. These extra eggs are then removed from her body and fertilized using sperm donated by her partner, all of which is done in a laboratory environment. Once they have been fertilized the eggs are replaced back inside the mothers body, directly into the womb which has been primed (by the use of regular hormone injections), to accept them and carry them to term.
It would be reassuring to think that this was always the case that the eggs implanted during the IVF process would always develop and produce healthy babies. Unfortunately the current IVF success rate averages only around 27%. With such a low IVF success rate compared to the high IVF costs you would assume that there would be a low uptake for the IVF procedure, but no. Despite the amount that in vitro fertilization costs there are around 30,000 women undergoing in vitro fertilization treatment at any given time.
The in vitro fertilization costs are comparable in the US with the UK. On average costs range between $10,000 and $15,000 per cycle. These numbers include the medication that starts the IVF process in the US, while the same costs don’t include IVF drugs in the UK. Considering that an average woman, not older than 35 years of age, needs around 3.4 in vitro fertilization cycles to get pregnant, the total costs skyrocket to over $30,000 for the youngest prospects. The older the female is, the more IVF cycles are needed.
The highest IVF success rate is registered with women below 35 years of age, 29.6%. It drops 6.3% if women are between 35 and 37 years old. Only 10% register a successful IVF process in their early 40’s and the percentage drops below 1 if women are over 44 years of age.
Why is IVF Treatment Necessary?
Some couples no matter how long they try will never conceive naturally. This could be due to a low sperm count meaning there are not enough live sperm to make it through to the egg and fertilize it, or the woman may have gynecological problems that prohibit natural conception. A successful IVF pregnancy is a result of the sperm and the egg being brought together outside of the normal baby making environment, giving the embryo the greatest possible chance of survival.
For would be parents who can see no other way of conceiving the IVF costs are just something that has to be met in order for them to achieve their dream of becoming parents. The IVF success rate is greater for women in the pre menopausal age group than older women but one thing is for sure, following successful IVF due date calendars will be on show.