So now on to my title... 'My thoughts on ART and IVF'. First of all I want to give you the definition of ART- Assisted Reproductive Technology, this includes all fertility treatments in which eggs and sperm are handled, ART procedures involve surgically removing eggs from a woman's ovaries, combining them with sperm in the laboratory, and returning them to the woman's body or donating them to another woman. ART has been used in the United States since 1981 to help women become pregnant most commonly through In Vitro Fertilization or IVF. Here are some statics on the chances of getting pregnant the "natural" way or using ART...
* There is a 15-20% chance of becoming pregnant in each ovulatory cycle. But everything needs to be right, you should have no medical issues and his sperm count should be normal
* Approximately 40% of couples trying to conceive (TTC) will conceive within the first three months of trying, and about 70% of couples TTC will conceive within the first six months
* Up to 85% of of couples will conceive within the first year of TTC, although your ability to conceive in any given cycle falls after age 30
* 1 in 7 couples in the US are affected by fertility issues
According to CDC’s 2011 preliminary ART Fertility Clinic Success Rates Report, 163,038* ART cycles were performed at 451 reporting clinics in the United States during 2011, resulting in 47,849 live births (deliveries of one or more living infants) and 61,610 live born infants. Although the use of ART is still relatively rare as compared to the potential demand, its use has doubled over the past decade. Today, over 1% of all infants born in the United States every year are conceived using ART.
(The above information I copied from the CDC's website)
Now I'm a firm believer that God gave man the mind to make these amazing medical advances and that for couples who are unable to have children the "natural" way this makes it a possibly to fulfill the natural given desire for children. One thing that I get asked quite frequently when I'm talking about IVF and what we are doing is "do you get to pick the sex of the baby?" The answer to that is no. Even though if you want to you can pay an extra $5,000 to do that it's not something we're interested in... To me that is manipulating the process and I don't want any part of that. The process is called PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis) when it was first introduced in 1989 it was used to help couples with serious genetic disorders reduce the risk of their children having the same condition. Today it is still used for this reason, but is also used to screen embryos with normal chromosomes in women 35 or older with a history of miscarriage, some clinics offer this procedure for non medical reasons such as sex selection or "gender balancing". Most clinics do not offer this procedure solely for sex selection, you must have a medical reason or be of a certain age and have a history of miscarriage. Some centers do offer it though with certain qualifications, as in you must be married and have at least one child of the opposite gender.
The problem with IVF is that it gets a bad reputation for "playing God" as in you are creating something that God intended to be a "natural" process. I hate that word "natural" it's so irritating, just because my husband and I can't conceive the "natural" way why can't we use the God given talents of others to make the dream of our family come true? I say we can! We're not trying to select our children based on weather it's a boy or a girl, and we are praying everyday that God will give us the number of embryos that we are supposed to have. We will give each one a chance at life since God sent them to us through this amazing process.
So there you have it... my thoughts on IVF!! We are so thrilled that we are about to start the next chapter in our lives, we are equally as thrilled to share our journey with all of you! Keep the prayers coming we are less than a week away from starting the injectable meds.