1. Its no guarantee.
Many people think that once you start the process of IVF it’s only a matter of time until they’ll be holding a little bundle of joy. Unfortunately that isn’t the case.
“IVF does not give you a 100 percent chance for pregnancy.The chances of pregnancy will depend on the age of a woman’s eggs and many other factors particular to a couple, but on average, only 37 percent of assisted reproduction cycles for women under 35 result in live births. The chances of success decrease with age.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.
2. It takes a long time.
A woman’s cycle is normally about 28 days long, but an IVF cycle can take much longer than that. People do not realize the sheer amount of time it takes, says a mother who has had two children through IVF.
Basically it takes about six weeks from the start of the menstrual cycle to know how many genetically normal embryos a patient had. The following month, it takes approximately four to six weeks to prepare the lining of the uterus before the embryo can be put into the uterus and 10 days later we know if the patient is pregnant or not.
For eager parents, that’s a very long time.
3. IVF can take a toll on your mental health.
Dealing with infertility and undergoing IVF are hugely stressful events, so it’s no wonder that depression and anxiety are commonly reported among parents—particularly mothers—who are undergoing IVF.
“New mental health issues may arise, or preexisting mental health issues may become more severe or worsen during IVF treatment.Emotional support and open and honest dialogue about the stressors of infertility should be established. This can be with each other, with close family or friends, support groups, or with therapists.
4. You might need it after conceiving naturally.
Many people think if they’ve conceived without assistance once that it will happen again. But that isn’t always the case.
Secondary infertility is when a woman who has already delivered one or more children isn’t able to get pregnant again naturally.
5. You might end up with too much of a good thing.
The goal for anyone undergoing IVF is to have plenty of healthy embryos to choose from. More healthy embryos means more chances to implant those embryos and a greater likelihood of becoming pregnant and giving birth.
Sometimes patients have too much of a good thing, though, and wind up with a greater number of healthy embryos than they need. In this case, communication is key.
6. You’ll be left feeling like a teenager.
All the hormone shots involved with IVF mean that you’ll have lots more hormones than normal coursing through your body. That might leave you irritable, bloated, or even turned on.
7. You might want to think about IVF before you’re ready to have kids.
The quality of women’s eggs decreases with time, which can make it harder to conceive and carry a pregnancy to term.
It’s not a bad idea for women in their mid twenties to already be thinking about their fertility even though [having a baby] may be the last thing on their mind. “We often hear from patients in their mid thirties who are struggling with fertility and they say ‘why didn’t anyone tell me it would be so hard to have a baby?
According to Surrey, simple tests can help women know if they may have trouble conceiving later in life.
8. Its more common than you think.
About one in eight couples have trouble getting pregnant.
More people are probably getting IVF than you realize,” Surrey says.
Breaking down the stigma around IVF has become a passion for Jennifer “Jay” Palumbo, a mom of two from Brooklyn, New York, who blogs at The Two Week Wait.
9. Sometimes you just have to laugh at everything.
Palumbo’s IVF experience was full of nerve-wracking moments, but despite that, laughter was essential to getting through the process.
Humor was everything.
10. IVF affects the dads too.
Although it’s true that women have to deal with most of the medical procedures associated with IVF, the whole process can be draining for hopeful dads as well.
The emotional aspect for men is something that gets broadly ignored.
At the same time, men are dealing with some of the same emotions women are, grieving over pregnancy loss, the emotional anxiety over the idea that all this might not work.
11. You won’t relax when you get the positive pregnancy test.
Having a positive pregnancy test is without a doubt a joyous moment for couples who have gone through IVF. However, that test won’t be the end of your worry.
12. Its all worth it in the end.
Although the process of IVF is scary, expensive, and emotionally draining, it is all worth it to have the family you’ve been waiting for.
The years of making every effort, expending every resource, sleepless nights, and stress-filled work days all seem to fade away once the baby’s eyes open and make contact with yours. A completely new definition of love is written in your heart.