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To IVF or Not To IVF

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a blog by liz, Mar. 29, 2010

I’ve lost count of the number of people who have recently wished IVF on me. They’ve complained on my behalf that the National Health Service was dragging their heels in offering it to me.

I’d murmur something that could be construed as agreement but, in reality, I was glad I wasn’t having IVF.

Over the past three and a half years, I’ve had three Intrauterine Inseminations (IUI) and countless DIY cycles without a single pregnancy or a double line. Throughout this time I’ve thought of myself as “having trouble conceiving,” “not finding it very easy to get pregnant,” it has been “taking a while.”

But having IVF leads me to just one conclusion: I am infertile.

You may have known this by the end of the third paragraph, but it has taken me longer. Now my doctor has also caught up and referred me, this week I am off to see an IVF specialist. But I’m scared.

About the drugs.
About injecting myself.
About the possible side effects.
About the likelihood of ovarian hyperstimulation disorder.

I am scared about the increased risk of miscarriage, birth defects, about the possibility of giving birth to a litter rather than just one or two children.

So, I have been reading up on the subject. The results have neither allayed nor increased my fears. There seems to be so much that is inconclusive about IVF. Yes, there are higher instances of birth defects amongst IVF children, but is that because of the way they are conceived or because IVF mothers tend to be older than others? Nothing is conculsive.

Part of me is wrestling with a whole bunch of ‘What Ifs.’ Many of these scenarios are the same ones any woman who trues to conceive struggles with. What if I miscarry? What if there are complications with the birth? What if there is a genetic deformity?

There is absolutely no way of knowing.

There is however one near certainty: Unless I have IVF I will never become pregnant.

And that is a risk I am not willing to take.

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Comments (3)

I don't normally post here, but I wanted to let my fellow IFers know that there is a Family Building Conference coming up in Atlanta on May 1st. Looks like lots of good info, plus they're giving away 2 FREE IVF CYCLES!! One of then is a DE cycle using frozen eggs. From what I can tell the chances of winning are better than 1 in 100 if I bring DH. Sounds pretty good to me!

Those are all valid points, but, there is a risk of miscarriage and birth defects in "fertile" women. I have a friend who was 26 and had a baby with Down Syndrome. Having a baby, whether it be by the natural or assisted method is always going to be like playing a game of russian roulette..but a game well wort playing :)

you summed up the feelings well! i've felt all these same things, i was extremely hesitant about doing IVF. after 5 failed IUIs we moved on the IVF, and i just had my egg retreival yesterday. the main thing i have felt is a sense of relief that doing IVF is actually not *that* much more involved or crazier than all the things i have already done. the injections were scary, but not that bad. the side effects were icky, but not that bad (clomid for IUI was worse for me), and the retreival was nerve wracking, but also not bad. i'm surprised with a feeling of, "that's it?" after having built IVF up so much in my head. now my fingers are crossed that it works...

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