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Update on In Vitro Fertilization – How Much too Much?

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Some researchers have concluded that when couples try to get pregnant more often by means of in vitro fertilization (IFV), their chances of having a successful pregnancy is higher. When considering this statement, however, the question arises as to what the physical and psychological ramifications would be? Should couples be encouraged to go beyond the usual two or three cycles of IVF?

Normally, the chances of a successful pregnancy and delivery for women in their 20’s who have used IVF are 58 percent. For older women (age 40 to 44), however, the success rate is somewhat less at 22 percent, as reported by the National Institute of Health/MedlinePlus. Researchers involved said that more success could be achieved by increasing the IVF tries or cycles to five. What’s very interesting is that at least one of those who suggested that this study is valid sits on an advisory board of Merck Serono Australia and Schering-Plough Australia – two drug companies that make fertility drugs.

On the other end of the spectrum, we find fertility experts that don’t agree with their findings. For example, Dr. Mitchell P. Rosen, University of California, stated that most women could not endure a large number of cycles anyway – even though he has seen cases where couples try up to 11 times. He advised that each patient’s case needs to be scrutinized individually and independently. He also indicated that the medical staff involved should be careful to consider what this will do or is doing to the couple’s psychological and financial standing. Reportedly, just one IVF cycle can cost approximately $15,000.

IVF is definitely a personal choice. It is usually the last option that a couple will choose after other attempts have been made. As a couple, it is important to consider all factors involved, whether psychological and/or financial.

Sources: National Institute of Health/MedlinePlus, WebMd.com



Dita Faulkner is a freelance writer and the best aunt ever – so her nephews say anyway!

Add a Comment2 Comments

Thanks for your inquiry. The article didn't say, but usually when insurance runs out or won't cover at all, couples will rack up massive debt themselves.


March 3, 2011 - 11:16am

Trying 11 times for a procedure that costs $15,000 seems excessive. Is this paid out of pocket or by insurance? It seems unethical to use insurance to pay for something like this.

March 3, 2011 - 10:16am
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