What is IVF?

Keep in mind that I am not a medical professional and this article is by no means meant to scare anyone or meant to be used to diagnose yourself. If after reading this article you have questions, ask your doctor. Remember to be in tune with your body and tell your doctor about any changes that happen. There is nothing wrong with being aware and asking questions. Keep in mind that everyone is different, you may have these symptoms and not have an infertility disease, or you might have different symptoms of infertility. These are just some of the indicators that I was told were symptoms of my personal infertility from my OB/GYN. 

In vitro fertilization, commonly referred to as IVF, is an alternative way of conceiving for those that have difficulties doing so ‘in the natural way’. When you are considered to be ‘infertile’ you lose hope of ever having children. In most cases, this is not true. The way that science is advancing, anyone that has money and can afford the process is able to find a way to have a family. Whether that be through adoption, fostering, or finding a way to have your own child as natural as possible. 

Before I talk about IVF, I need to address what the definition of infertility is, because it does not mean that you are never going to be able to have children of your own. Infertility is defined as the inability to naturally conceive your own child within a year of trying. Like I stated in one of my previous articles, the focus of most college students is to not get pregnant, so why does this matter. 

Well, knowing how fertile you are now can help you in the future when you are trying to conceive. What if you don’t know that your egg count is that of a thirty-five-year-old when you are twenty? This would make it difficult to conceive when you are thirty because you have the same amount of eggs as someone who is forty-five. When you are in your mid-forties, you are considered peri-menopausal. Not only is this a high-risk pregnancy because of IVF, but you are also considered a high-risk pregnancy because you are ‘advanced maternal age’. So age matters especially in the realm of fertility, and knowing the options that you have when you are younger can help you successfully start a family when the time comes. 

IVF is one way to ‘naturally’ conceive your own child when you are considered to be infertile. IVF is considered assisted reproductive technology, or ART. What that essentially means is that you need to have some type of assistance when it comes to conception, and even then you are not guaranteed to have a child on the first try.  Knowing your options can help prepare you for the future, especially because if you are thinking about freezing your eggs for later on, now is the time to do it. It is expensive, but your eggs are at the prime age to, for a lack of better words, be used or stored.