IVF is not the only road to the holy grail of conception for those facing slim odds. Some look to it as the magic bullet — the one “sure” way to be parents using “our own” eggs and sperm. Even though it permeates the pop-culture mindshare — for example, HuffPost: IVF — it really is not the only answer and it’s not necessarily as reliable as it is often made out to be. And for some, it is simply not a realistic option.
However, for those who will go the route of IVF, there is good news. The advent of embryo vitrification (super-fast freezing) has greatly improved the viability of those embryos. In fact, the trending thought in the ART community is that a frozen embryo transferred into a womb under “natural” cycle conditions (rather than “stimulated” conditions) has a better chance than a fresh transfer.
Dr. Geoffrey Sher calls for a revision to the way IVF success rates are reported so that patients TTC can make better-informed decisions. He suggests that going forward, IVF success rates should be reported as “live births per embryo transferred.” For more on his reasoning, his post Taking a Fresh Approach to Reporting IVF Success Rate Statistics makes a lot of sense and sheds clear light on how results of the current technology can be best assessed.
Are you considering IVF? What about vitrification? Have you discussed the choice of fresh transfer vs frozen transfer with your clinician? What have you tried to alleviate your fertility challenges before going to IVF?
IVF = in vitro fertilization
ART = assisted reproductive technology
TTC = trying to conceive