When I started dating my husband, one of the first questions I asked him was if he wanted children. He gave me a very comedic answer which I treasure and joke about until this day.
Always attempting to be the court jester, he said with a huge smile on his face, "I wouldn’t throw it away if one fell out." An awkward but humorous answer, and typical of my husband.
I really wanted to marry a man who was comfortable with having children, but who could also be content if we were unable to have children due to unforeseeable circumstances.
As the months went by while dating my husband of today, he told me several stories about trying to have children with his first wife. They attempted in vitro fertilization (IVF) three times at a cost of thousands of dollars.
My husband stated that he gave his ex-wife hormone shots daily in the buttocks. They used their own eggs and sperm.
Their egg and sperm combination was fertilized in a lab and then transferred to her uterus. Unfortunately, their attempts were unsuccessful.
According to the Centers for Diseases and Prevention (CDC), the following are the live birth rates resulting from IVF in the United States:
• 6 to 10 percent for women ages over 40
• 15 to 20 percent for women ages 38 to 40
• 25 percent for women ages 35 to 37
• 30 to 35 percent for women under age 35
After three heartbreaking attempts, they both decided to forego any further procedures and look into alternatives like adoption and surrogacy.
The American Pregnancy Association website stated there are two other variations of IVF. These include zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) and gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT).
The website stated "GIFT is similar to IVF, but the gametes (egg and sperm) are transferred to the fallopian tubes rather than the uterus, and fertilization takes place in the tubes rather than in the laboratory. GIFT also involves a laparoscopic surgical procedure to transfer the sperm and egg into the tubes. GIFT accounts for approximately two percent of assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures in the United States."
Also the American Pregnancy Association acknowledged "ZIFT differs from GIFT in that the fertilization process still takes place in the laboratory versus the fallopian tubes. It is similar to GIFT in that the fertilized egg is transferred into fallopian tubes, and it involves a laparoscopic surgical procedure. ZIFT accounts for less than 1.5 percent of assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures in the United States."
For some couples, IVF is the perfect choice, with pregnancy the happy result. For others, even several attempts can leave a couple with heartbreaking consequences.
In Vitro Fertilization: IVF: American Pregnancy Association. Promoting Pregnancy Wellness : American Pregnancy Association. Retrieved April 3, 2012, from http://www.americanpregnancy.org/infertility/ivf.html
In vitro fertilization (IVF): MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health. Retrieved April 3, 2012, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007279.htm
Reviewed April 4, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith