a blog by Lindsay Thomason, WHNP, Piedmont Reproductive Endocrinology Group
What would you be willing to go through to have the family you’ve always dreamed of? Would you want to give yourself the best chance to have that family? Would you agree to take shots? Would you be willing to have surgery? Would you find the money to afford it someway, somehow?
Many women who struggle with infertility may find it easy to answer yes to these questions, but find it difficult to follow through by proceeding with in vitro fertilization (IVF). This is often the hardest decision patients face when deciding how to build their family. IVF seems so foreign, and even scary, that patients prefer to start with more conservative treatment, such as timed intercourse or intrauterine inseminations (IUI). While this is definitely a more comfortable bridge to take into the world of infertility, the reality is that many patients won’t have success with these treatments. Heather Blackmon, embryologist at Piedmont Reproductive Endocrinology Group (PREG) in Greenville, SC finds it best to look at the numbers: “IUI offers only a 16 percent pregnancy rate for the BEST prognosis patients, defined as those with young eggs (under 35) and a NORMAL semen analysis. IVF utilizing ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), or manual fertilization of eggs by sperm) provides a 60 percent pregnancy rate for the WORST prognosis patients.”