5 things that every couple considering IVF should know

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Thinking of finally taking the leap, and undergoing IVF? Before you go ahead, read on to find out about the five things that every couple considering this medical procedure should know.

#1: It’s important to find a clinic that’s a good fit.

If you want to go ahead with IVF, know that not all IVF clinics are made equal.

For example: while some clinics (such as Advanced Centre For Reproductive Medicine (ACRM) at Gleneagles Hospital) offer time-lapse embryo imaging technology, others do not. Different clinics also price their packages differently, so if you’re thinking of going to a clinic that seems to be one of the more affordable options, check to make sure there aren’t any hidden costs that aren’t included in the IVF package.

Read: Where to do IVF in Singapore: A breakdown of the various Singapore IVF centres.

#2: IVF involves a fair bit of physical discomfort.

You’d think that with all the technology at our fingertips, undergoing IVF wouldn’t cause any pain or discomfort. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Here’s the thing: IVF involves fertility injections which are typically self-administered on a daily basis. These shots may hurt, and seeing as you’ll be injecting yourself at the same spot on multiple occasions, it’s possible for the injection site to become sore and tender as time goes by.

Now, we’re not saying that this is a dealbreaker, but just know that the process isn’t pain-free. It’s important for ALL couples considering IVF to discuss the entire process with your ob-gyn and know what you’re getting into, but this should be even more of a priority if you’re squeamish about injections, or you have a low pain threshold.

#3: You’ll probably experience mood swings during IVF.

Because you’ll be taking fertility drugs and injecting hormones into your body, this will cause the hormone levels in your system to fluctuate, and when this happens, you’ll get mood swings.

How much this affects women differs on a case-by-case basis. As a general rule of thumb: if you experience PMS and you tend to be moody when you get your period, then you might be hormonally sensitive; this means you’ll feel the effects of the drugs and hormones more keenly.

#4: It’s stressful undergoing IVF.

Mood swings aside, it’s common for women undergoing IVF to feel stressed and anxious throughout the journey.

According to a 2016 study in the Human Reproduction journal, a whopping 37% of women experience emotional maladjustment during IVF treatment, with 10% having a “delayed emotional reaction of anxiety or depression”.

Bearing this in mind, make sure you practice self-care going into your IVF journey, and surround yourself with people who will support you unconditionally.

#5: IVF is not a sure-fire solution.

IVF has evolved a lot over the past few years, and it’s now easier to get pregnant via IVF than ever. That said, IVF is not a magic pill, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll definitely be able to conceive via this form of assisted reproduction.
More specifically: IVF helps women produce more eggs in a single cycle; as such, it’s particularly suited to women who are experiencing troubles with conceiving because they have a small number of high-quality eggs. If you haven’t been able to conceive because you have poor-quality eggs, then you may experience limited success with IVF, and it might be more prudent to look into alternative forms of fertility treatment.

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