( 15 JUN 2016 )

9 Common IVF Myths Debunked by Our Team of Doctors
A popular and highly advanced fertility treatment that has brought joy to millions of infertile couples worldwide, IVF continues to be riddled by several misconceptions and myths, most of them originating from half knowledgeand from bad experiences of patients at the hands of incompetent fertility doctors.
In this blog post, we share the most prevalent misconceptions about IVF,addressed by our doctors on panel.

Myth 1: IVF treatmentresults in multiple pregnancies
Fact: The number of pregnancies depends upon the number of embryos transferred during an IVF cycle. At Shantah IVF, we refrain from doing multiple embryo transfers and if a patient insists on doing so, we discuss with them the risks involved with multiple pregnancies.
If your IVF clinic insists on doing multiple ETs without explaining the reason and the likely consequences, it may be time to look for an ethical, non-commercial IVF clinic.

Myth 2: IVF treatment means weeks and weeks of bed rest.
Fact:Yes, but for very few patients. Just like some women are advised bed rest in a high-risk spontaneous pregnancy, similarly, there would always be some IVF patients who need more bed rest than others. In fact, the most critical procedures in an IVF cycle – egg retrieval and embryo transfer –take only a few hours after which the patient can go home and resume her routine activities. If your doctor advises bed rest after a procedure, it would be only to safeguard your health.

Myth 3: IVF increases the risk of birth defects
Fact:The likelihood of an IVF baby having a congenital deformity is only slightly higher compared tobabies born through unassisted pregnancies. Furthermore, the tremendous advances in IVF treatment have empoweredfertility doctors to perform genetic testing on the oocytes (eggs) and sperm, and also on the developing embryos to rule out any genetic defects.
Fertile couples considering pregnancy generally do not undergo such extensive testing; therefore, we may say that the likelihood that a genetic abnormality would be detected in time is much higher in the case of IVF.

Myth 4: IVF should be the last alternative
Fact: Many infertile couples delay fertility treatment because of the very misconceptions stated in this blog post. Most patients want to try every trick in the book to get pregnant before consulting a fertility specialist. Patients need to understand that a medical problem cannot be corrected with herbal or other local treatments. IVF, and infertility treatment in general, should not be treated as a last resort as timely treatment is extremely important for infertility patients. As far as which fertility treatment will work best for you (IUI, IVF,ICSI), choose a credible IVF specialist and trust them to take that decision.

Myth 5: IVF requires frequent hospitalization
Fact: To the contrary, most IVF patients never have to spend a night at the hospital/clinic. All procedures in an IVF cycle are outpatient procedures and require only a few hours. In the rare case when a patient needs to be under observation after a procedure, the IVF doctor would advise overnight stay. Again, a good doctor would refrain from advising unnecessary hospitalization.

Myth 6: IVF is the only alternative for childless couples
Fact:Since it is one of most talked about infertility treatments, most people equate infertility treatment with IVF. However, IVF is only one of the many assisted reproductive technologies (ART) available today to help childless women conceive. Other family-building alternatives include Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI), IVF-ICSI, Ovulation Induction (OI), GIFT, ZIFT, surrogacy, and adoption. IUI is often the first treatment route for many infertility patients.

Myth 7: IVF is a fool-proof way to get pregnant
Fact:While IVF is one of the most practiced infertility treatments worldwide, not every IVF cycle is successful. Several reasons govern the success of an IVF cycle such as the underlying cause of infertility, age of parents-to-be, medical history, biological factors, previously failed IVF cycles, previous pregnancies, and the expertise of your IVF specialist in handling difficult cases. Of these, age of the female partner is the principal factor known to impact IVF success.

Myth 8: IVF is expensive
Fact:Yes, quality IVF treatment does come at a cost; however this cost could get multiplied at the hands of a mediocre and profit-oriented fertility clinic.
Today IVF is the one of the most advanced assisted reproductive techniques and researchers are exploring new ways to make it more affordable so that more and more childless couples can avail of this boon of science.In the last few years, India has emerged as a leading destination for patients seeking fertility treatment options which are affordable, reliable and effective. IVF treatment in India can be availed at a fraction of the cost of similar treatments abroad.
To ensure you are not fleeced in the name of essential tests/procedures, engage only with a credible fertility clinic and obtain a detailed costing of the entire treatment plan, inclusive of any unforeseen procedures that may become necessary during the course of your treatment cycle.

Myth 9: The patient has no control over IVF success
Fact:This is not entirely true. As with any other form of medical treatment, your diet, lifestyle, adherence to medication, how you cope with stress, and most importantly, the competence and experience of your IVF doctor, all play an important role in your IVF treatment.
At the same time, a patient might do everything right and still be faced with IVF failure. The intention — of both the IVF doctor and the patient — should be to give their very best to the treatment to maximize the chances of success. Have further questions about IVF treatment? Please contact us here. Our team of specialists will be happy to answer your queries. For a free 2ndopinion from Dr. Anubha Singh, please contact us here.