Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Is 1 in 3 Good Enough? IVF Awareness

The Society for Reproductive Technology released their 2016 report (link) today, and the numbers are both wonderful, and heartbreaking.

In 2016, there were 71,296 babies born as a result of IVF. That's 71,296 miracles right there! 71K+ dreams realized! Oh, and my grandson Jackson is one of those ;-)    

Now, let's look closer at the numbers... this is where the heart twists.

"In 2016, there were 71,296 babies born as a result of 242,618 IVF cycles."  That's 1 baby born for every 3.4 cycles. This means that every successful cycle represents two failed cycles. When a cycle fails, you are impacted in several ways...

Physically - The drugs and procedures utilized during an IVF cycle are invasive and extremely damaging. Women gain weight, experience vast mood swings and depression. It's exhausting - from the emotional roller coaster, to the constant injections, oral medications, topical medications, office visits, and procedures (take hysterosonography for example), endless internal ultrasounds, egg retrieval, and implantation. Physically, it really takes a toll. Especially, if you have to do it all over again. And again.

Emotionally - An IVF cycle is demanding, with no room for mistakes. The protocol schedule is rigid and if not followed, the cycle is cancelled. Your whole world revolves around the drugs, appointments, and procedures. This complete absorption in the process can cause problems between you and your partner, between you and your family, your friends - whether they know what you're going through or not. The stress created can decrease chances of success by further impacting hormones. Additionally, as mentioned above, the drugs and resulting hormonal changes wreak havoc on your emotions, causing wild mood swings during a time that is already fraught with fear and uncertainty.

Financially - An average IVF cycle in the U.S. costs $20,000.  (And for too many, insurance doesn't cover any of the costs - that $20k is completely cash up front, out of pocket.)  Many couples require multiple cycles to achieve their dream of a baby. The costs stack up as you add in PGS (pre-implantation genetic screening) testing, embryo / egg storage, and transfer costs. The price for making a baby can be crippling.

1 in 3...

The success rate of IVF is roughly 35%, or 1 in 3. Most times, one cycle isn't enough. Sometimes, multiple cycles isn't enough. There are no guarantees, but there are factors that can increase - or subsequently decrease - that 35% chance. (By success rate, I'm referring to the successful fertilization of an egg, the implantation of the embryo, and the subsequent carrying and delivery of a baby).

Many things impact that 35% chance of success...

  • Weight - Being as little as 10 lbs overweight can reduce your fertility. Adipose tissue (body fat) produce hormones, including estrogen. The more estrogen, the less fertile you or  your partner are (yes, this affects men, too, reducing their testosterone production). Being overweight also increases Insulin Resistance, which can inhibit fertility and even halt ovulation.
  • Age - Women over 40 face decreasing odds, as egg quality and other factors apply.
  • Sex - It's not just women who are affected by infertility. It's estimated that 1/3 of infertility cases are caused by male reproductive issues. 
  • Disease - Diseases like Diabetes, PCOS, Endometriosis, and other genetic issues like the mutated MTHFR gene contribute to infertility and can prevent implantation, and increase the chances of miscarriage.
  • Stress - High stress increases levels of Cortisol - the fight or flight hormone. When cortisol levels increase, production of fertility-friendly hormones decrease, reducing your chances of conceiving or having a successful IVF transfer.

Did you know that it's in your power to change every one of those fertility-reducing factors?  

If you're facing IVF, are the chances of being 1 in 3 good enough? 
Would you like to better those odds? 


In the coming days, I'll be sharing more about my new work in Fit To Conceive by Recipe For Fitness, LLC, and begin taking applications for my Six-Week Fertility Remodel coaching. This six-week process will help you reclaim control, achieve an ideal fertility weight, and actively contribute to increasing your chances of conception / successful IVF cycle, naturally.

Sign up below to join my mailing list, and be the first to know when Fit To Conceive launches.


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