You're happily married, and you live in the perfect neighborhood for raising a family. The only problem is that you and your husband thus far haven't been able to conceive. You were told by your gynecologist that it could take some time, but so far it's been over a year, and absolutely nothing has changed in the babymaking department.
So, now you're starting to have questions, like "What is IVF?" You are starting to think that maybe you and your husband will need a little extra help by medical professionals in this area. You've heard that IVF might be able to help, but what is IVF? Is IVF safe? What is IVF going to do for your chances of conceiving?
You decide to make an appointment with your doctor, and of course the first question out of your mouth is "What is IVF?" Your doctor explains that IVF stands for in-vitro fertilization. This is a procedure in which eggs are extracted from your uterus, and fertilized with your husband's sperm in a Petri dish. The fertilized eggs are then placed back into your uterus in the hopes that one of the fertilized eggs will attach itself to the wall of the uterus, thus making you pregnant.
This procedure is one that will take several months to complete. The first step involves you having to take various hormone shots to stimulate egg production. Then, when your egg count is at the appropriate level, they will be harvested. During this time your husband will have to give sperm samples, which will be frozen until it's time for the artificial insemination. In fact, any additional eggs of yours which are not used can also be frozen until such time as you might want to do the procedure again.
This procedure is still a controversial one, because some groups refer to it as "Playing God". There are a number of risks to this procedure, mainly in the form of compromising the fetus itself. Many children who have been born through in-vitro fertilization have been born prematurely, and as a result with compromised immune systems.
Also, the chances are extremely good that you will not just one child if this procedure is successful. Many parents have been shocked by this occurrence, because not only have some ended up with twins, they've also ended up with triplets, quadruplets, and even more!
Of course, something else that you might be wondering about is the success rate. There is no standard success rate for IVF, because it has to do with several factors. These factors include your age, and your overall health. Also, it will have to do with how many times you have the procedure done.
This is an extremely expensive procedure, one that will require many thousands of dollars. However, some forms of health insurance might cover part of the cost, so that will definitely be something that you should look into. Regardless, make sure that you choose a reputable clinic for the procedure, and you have lots of patience.