For people who are struggling with fertility issues in Canada, there are several options available to try and add to your family. One fertility treatment is in vitro fertilization, which you have likely heard of before but may not know much about.
What is in vitro fertilization (IVF)?
One of the more well-known types of assisted reproductive technology, IVF, uses a combination of surgical procedures and medicines designed to help sperm fertilize an egg and also to help that fertilized egg implant in the uterus.
The exact procedure may vary, but the first step of IVF generally involves taking a medication that makes eggs mature and ready for fertilization. Once this is complete, the physician will take the eggs out of the body and mix them with sperm in a laboratory setting to help the sperm fertilize the eggs. Then, one or more of the fertilized eggs–known as embryos–are directly implanted into the uterus. Pregnancy occurs if any of those embryos successfully implant into the uterine lining.
How long does IVF take?
IVF has many steps. The most difficult step, the egg retrieval cycle, takes around 2 weeks, however it may take a few months for pregnancy to be achieved. The treatment provider will set the schedule for the patient to follow. While some people may get pregnant using IVF treatments on the very first try, it’s common for them to need more than one IVF round to get pregnant. This treatment does increase a person’s chances for pregnancy if they are experiencing fertility problems, but there is no guarantee that it will work; everyone has a different body, and this will not work for every person who tries it, which is something to keep in mind from the start of the treatment.
What are the success rates for IVF in Canada?
According to the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, in 2018, (the latest year for which data is available), there were 16,852 IVF cycles. Out of those cycles, there were 2,438 pregnancies. Multiple pregnancies–such as twins or triplets, which can be an issue with IVF–have gone down, with only 7.4 percent of the total involving multiple pregnancies. This reduction is credited to a commitment by IVF treatment providers to reduce the multiple pregnancy rate, which stood at 32 percent in Canada back in 2009.
Of course, IVF may not be for everyone. You should discuss this option with a medical provider–and your partner, if applicable–and consider all of the factors and your situation before trying IVF treatments. By making an informed decision from the start, you will be better prepared to handle the treatment process and potential outcomes. There are also local IVF groups online and in-person that can bring people who are going through or have been through the process together to share their experiences and provide support to each other.
If you are ready to add to your family and explore the available options for fertility treatments, consult with a provider of in vitro fertilization in Canada today for more information about this treatment and other options. Your provider will review all the treatments available in your situation, answer your questions, address your concerns and help guide you through this process.