“Where do babies come from?” is a question that can make anyone blush, because we all know from a relatively young age exactly how babies get here.
That is, until we grow up and realize many couples have trouble making a baby the old fashioned way. Wanting to have a child and not being able to get pregnant is heartbreaking, but luckily, parents who aren’t able to conceive on their own now have a decidedly modern option: using medical technology to help them get pregnant.Any process that involves a woman’s egg or embryos (fertilized eggs) being handled falls under the umbrella term assisted reproductive technology (ART).
In 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, nearly 73,000 babies were born in the United States with the help of ART. The most common type of ART is in vitro fertilization, commonly known as IVF. During IVF a woman’s eggs are removed from her body and fertilized in a lab. Once they’ve started to grow, the embryos are returned to the woman’s uterus or frozen for use in the future.Of course, that’s a very basic overview of a process that is long and complicated.
The details of how IVF works will vary depending on the ages and health of the hopeful parents, so only a doctor can tell you exactly what the process would entail for you.However, there are some common IVF experiences that no one talks about. With more and more hopeful parents seeking the help of assisted reproduction to start or grow their families, it’s important that people know what the IVF process entails, and that means all of it—the good, the bad, and the uglyHealthyWay spoke with parents and doctors about IVF so that you can be better prepared to consider whether IVF should be part of your family-building journey.