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What Exactly Happens In IVF?

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What Exactly Happens In IVF?

When you hit your early 30s and you are a childless woman, you will get “innocent” questions. Some of those questions are from strangers who will wonder about the state of your uterus as if it is suitable small talk. Many of them will be from your “well meaning” family who want you to reproduce because it is what they did and you gotta keep doing what the previous generations of yore have done. And some of these questions will come from yourself:

Do I want kids?
Is it time?

Many women say “Nah” and stick with “nah” happily. Some women say “Nah” and want to retract that statement when they hit their later reproductive years. They still feel young and vibrant…but their biology feels differently.

In my late thirties, I literally have more friends using IVF than any other method of getting pregnant. More than 8 million babies have been born through IVF from 1978-2018. (1)

It sounds almost easy because of how wide-spread it is. Until I had good friends tell me the nitty gritty, I had no idea what the process entails. I am sure I am not the only one. Here is the breakdown.

IVF stands for In Vitro Fertilization (and for reference, “in vitro” stands for “performed or taking place in a test tube, culture dish, or elsewhere outside a living organism,” which is why the first IVF baby was known as a “test tube” baby).

It takes several months to complete the whole process. The first step is taking fertility drugs for for months to help the ovaries to produce several mature eggs that are ready for fertilization. (2) Kelly, 39 describes the experience: “They warn you that being pumped full of hormones you won't feel like yourself, but I still wasn't prepared! I felt like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man who couldn't stop crying! I literally started openly weeping at the gym because an ASPCA commercial came on while I was on the treadmill.” (3)

She now has a son, but that isn’t the case for everyone. During this experience there may be daily ultrasound and blood work, which women have to fit into their already busting schedules. (2)

Stage two is removing those eggs from your body.

1.  More than 8 million babies born from IVF since the world's first in 1978. Science Daily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180703084127.htm Retrieved 28 May 2019.

2.  What Is In Vitro Fertilization? Planned Parenthood. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/pregnancy/fertility-treatments/what-ivf  Retrieved 28 May 2019.

3.  What Does IVF Treatment Feel Like According To 12 Women Who Did It. Cosmospolitan. https://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/a13119206/ivf-treatment-artificial-insemination/   Retrieved 28 May 2019.

4.  Kelsey, Sarah. What Egg Retrieval Is Really Like. Today’s Parent. https://www.todaysparent.com/getting-pregnant/trying-to-conceive/what-egg-retrieval-is-really-like/  Retrieved 28 May 2019. 

 

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