IVF has helped hundreds of thousands in the UK struggling with infertility. 390,000 babies have been born since 1991, and as technology continues to improve, so do the chances of success. However, it is also dependent on a range of individual factors, such as age, lifestyle choices and underlying health conditions. If you’re thinking of starting the process, here are a few things to consider which will help you to decide whether IVF is the right choice for you.
Fertility for females is largely dependent on egg reserve. As a woman ages, it depletes, and the quality of those eggs reduce which can increase the risk of complications. This can make things a little more difficult for IVF and imposes risks for both mother and baby such as greater risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and pre-term birth. Most clinics do not offer IVF to women over the age of 45-50 for this reason. While sperm quality reduces for men with age, there is a more subtle effect as IVF removes the distance needed to swim and reduces concentration needed.
Lifestyle can also affect your chances. Those who smoke ingest harmful chemicals such as nicotine, cyanide, and carbon monoxide. This increases the rate at which eggs are depleted and can lead to follicle-formation issues. The risks of miscarriage and potential complications during pregnancy are also higher, which is why you should stop smoking if you’re looking to start IVF.
Weight can also have a significant effect on the likelihood of IVF working. Women who have a high BMI (30 or more) require higher levels of gonadotropins which brings increased risks. They may also not respond as well to ovarian stimulation (meaning fewer eggs are produced) and with those that are, embryos may be lower in quality. Achieving a healthy BMI through weight management can help improve fertility and your chances with IVF.
The Eggs That You Use
As mentioned earlier, egg quality is a huge determining factor for the success of an IVF cycle. For improved chances, you may choose to use eggs from a donor. This is something which you will need to arrange yourself and should think carefully about due to any potential legal implications etc.
If you would like to learn about your chances with IVF and whether it’s right for you, feel free to get in touch.