6 Things to Consider Before Starting IVF
Our previous post on What is IVF and IUI? highlights that in-vitro fertilization is a way to increase your chances of getting pregnant. However, it’s also important to note that this procedure isn’t something you should just rush into.
This article will outline six things to consider before starting IVF, from family planning to the average cost — and by the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll be better equipped to decide whether IVF is for you.
Things to Consider Before Starting IVF
1. Success isn’t guaranteed
We mentioned at the beginning that IVF can increase your chances of getting pregnant but it isn’t 100% guaranteed. Age plays a huge factor when it comes to IVF success.
This procedure is most successful for women 35 and below, where there’s a 54.4% success rate. These rates drop significantly once a woman hits 40. The success rate for women aged 41 to 42 is at around 3%, while women who are 43 and above only have a 4% chance of success. If IVF is something you are seriously considering, timing is everything. And once you’ve decided on an age at which you want to try IVF, the Mira Fertility Tracker ensures that you can plan out the process even more accurately.
2. Budget for costs accordingly
It should come as no surprise that IVF procedures are going to cost you. Most insurance planners don’t cover this procedure, but it’s still in your best interests to call your provider beforehand and see what they can and can’t cover. After all, this will determine how you budget for the rest of your IVF journey. For instance, having your insurance cover initial consultation costs can free you up to visit more clinics and get a better sense of what you’re about to go through.
The average cost of IVF is around $12,000 to $17,000 but can rise to $25,000 with medication — and that’s just for one cycle. It’s common to want to try again if the first cycle wasn’t successful, but you need to make sure you can afford it.
3. Revisit your lifestyle choices
Living a healthy lifestyle is important during any pregnancy but it’s especially crucial for those considering IVF. This means you should stop drinking alcohol and smoking if you want to increase your chances of success. Of course, it’s also worth noting that these are habits you should consider curbing anyway.
We mentioned this in our post From Your Mood to Your Menstrual Cycle, but it bears repeating: good sleeping habits will help improve both your physical state and mental outlook. If you’re having trouble getting some shut-eye, consider meditating or journaling before bed to help you wind down after each day.
4. Start thinking about what family planning entails
Undergoing IVF is a huge process on its own, but it’s a step towards an even more challenging (and perhaps more meaningful) process: parenting. Angie Waltson is an instructor for Maryville University’s online human development and family studies program, and she states that proactive parenting strategies and healthy family patterns are key to ensuring proper child development. The rise of talk therapy and mental health awareness also means it’s no surprise that family studies professionals are now in high demand as soon-to-be parents work through what it means to raise children.
As Waltson’s emphasis on parenting patterns and strategies suggests, developing these mindsets requires a lot of self-work that you’ll have to prepare yourself for.
5. Ensure you have a good emotional support system
As we touched on in our discussion about getting enough sleep, you’ll need to be both physically and mentally healthy to get through the IVF process. It’s true that it takes a village to raise a child, and having a support system is crucial even before the child is born. It’s important to reach out to people you love and trust; they’ll be the ones who will catch you when you begin to struggle.
6. Partner with the right clinic
A couple from Queens made the news last year after their IVF treatment resulted in the birth of twins who were nothing like either parent. This story caused quite a stir and put fertility clinics under scrutiny, especially considering that there are no strict regulations on how these clinics are run.
While this incident is an extremely rare occurrence, it should also drive home the point that you should be working with a doctor that you trust. This is in part why it’s so important to see if you’re able to “shop” around for clinics before you start your IVF procedures.
At the end of the day, undergoing IVF is a choice that you will have to make for yourself. Taking these six factors into consideration, and really thinking about them deeply, can help steer you towards the direction that’s right for you.
Written by Alicia Louis
Alicia Louis is a stay-at-home mom training to become a licensed family planning consultant. She lives with her partner, two beautiful kids, and two cats.