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Let’s Talk Sex | IVF Before Sex: Choosing a Different Route to Parenthood – News18

By giving you more control over your fertility and reproductive options, IVF can be a path to parenthood worth considering. (Image: News18)

By giving you more control over your fertility and reproductive options, IVF can be a path to parenthood worth considering. (Image: News18)

While IVF before attempting natural conception isn’t for everyone, for some it offers the best chance to build a family when biology alone isn’t enough

Lets Talk Sex

Sex may permeate our popular culture, but conversations about it are still associated with stigma and shame in Indian households. As a result, most individuals dealing with sexual health issues or trying to find information about sex often resort to unverified online sources or follow the unscientific advice of their friends. To address the widespread misinformation about sex, is running this weekly sex column, titled ‘Let’s Talk Sex’. We hope to initiate conversations about sex through this column and address sexual health issues with scientific insight and nuance.

In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of choosing IVF before sex so you can decide if it’s the right path to parenthood for you.

While traditional methods of conception often involve intimacy and conception through sexual intercourse, advancements in reproductive technology have expanded the possibilities for those facing fertility challenges or seeking alternative routes to starting a family. One such method gaining prominence is In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) before engaging in sexual intercourse, offering a unique and empowering option for prospective parents. It’s a fascinating topic that’s been gaining some attention lately in the world of reproductive technology. Basically, it’s about using IVF as a way to conceive before even trying to have sex. Sounds pretty unconventional, right? Let’s dive into what it’s all about.

Why Some Couples Choose IVF Before Trying to Conceive Naturally

While IVF before attempting natural conception isn’t for everyone, for some it offers the best chance to build a family when biology alone isn’t enough. By giving you more control over your fertility and reproductive options, IVF can be a path to parenthood worth considering.

  • Time is of the Essence: For some couples, the biological clock is ticking loudly. If you’re over 35, your fertility starts declining more rapidly. IVF allows you to maximise your chances of getting pregnant during your most fertile years. Going straight to IVF, you can start with the most effective fertility treatments right away instead of spending months or years trying naturally with a lower chance of success.
  • Success Rates are Higher: IVF, especially when combined with fertility drugs, has high success rates for many types of infertility. For unexplained infertility or male factor issues, IVF may have a 50-60 per cent chance of pregnancy per cycle. Compared to the roughly 20 per cent chance of getting pregnant naturally each month, IVF offers hope for a much quicker success.
  • Peace of Mind: For some, moving straight to IVF provides a sense of relief and control over the situation. Rather than feeling stressed and upset month after month of trying naturally without success, IVF provides answers and a plan.

Though expensive and invasive, IVF can give hope and help couples feel empowered in the journey to start a family.

The IVF Process Step-by-Step

The IVF process may seem complicated, but many fertility clinics have high success rates. With some patience and perseverance, IVF can help you achieve your dream of parenthood. While the road isn’t always easy, the destination is worth the journey.

  • Initial Consultation: The first step is meeting with your reproductive endocrinologist for an initial consultation. You’ll discuss your medical history and fertility challenges to determine if IVF is the right choice for you. Once you decide to move forward, you’ll develop an IVF treatment plan tailored to your needs.
  • Ovarian Stimulation: You’ll begin taking fertility drugs to stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple eggs. Ultrasounds and blood tests will monitor your egg follicle growth and hormone levels.
  • Egg Retrieval: When your eggs are ready, you’ll undergo an egg retrieval procedure. This minor surgery is done under sedation so you’re comfortable throughout the process. A needle is inserted into the ovaries to retrieve the eggs, which are then fertilised in a lab.
  • Fertilisation: The retrieved eggs are combined with sperm in a lab, where hopefully fertilisation will occur. The fertilised eggs become embryos that are monitored over the next few days as they develop.
  • Embryo Transfer: After a few days, the healthiest embryo(s) are selected for transfer into the uterus. This painless procedure has a similar sensation to a pap smear. Any remaining embryos can be frozen for future use.
  • Pregnancy Test: About two weeks after the embryo transfer, you’ll take a blood test to determine if you’re pregnant. If positive, an ultrasound a few weeks later will confirm the viability and health of the pregnancy. IVF provides you the opportunity to choose how many and which embryos to transfer for the best chance of a successful pregnancy.

Deciding if IVF Before Sex Is the Right Path for You

If getting pregnant the “old-fashioned” way hasn’t worked out for you, IVF may seem like an appealing option. But for some couples, the idea of going straight to IVF before trying to conceive naturally can be daunting.

  • Your age and fertility are a concern: As women get older, fertility declines and the risks of chromosomal abnormalities and pregnancy complications increase. If you’re over 35, IVF may increase your chances of having a healthy baby. The sooner you start treatment, the better.
  • You have a condition impacting fertility: If you have a condition like endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or ovulation disorders, it can be difficult to get pregnant on your own. IVF provides a way to bypass these obstacles and achieve pregnancy. The success rates tend to be higher with IVF compared to other treatments in these situations.
  • You want to screen for genetic diseases: With IVF, you have the option of testing embryos for inherited disorders before transfer. This can help reduce the risk of passing on a genetic condition to your child. For some couples, this screening ability makes IVF worth pursuing even before attempting natural conception.
  • You’re open to alternatives like egg or sperm donation: If you need to use donated eggs, sperm or embryos to conceive, IVF will be required. The donation process adds time, so starting IVF sooner may lead to success faster. IVF also allows you to choose donors with certain traits that match your preferences.

The path to parenthood is a personal one. If IVF before sex feels right for your situation and priorities, don’t hesitate to pursue it. But for some, trying the natural way first may lead to success and provide reassurance before medical intervention. In the end, the choice of whether to try conceiving naturally first or move straight to fertility treatments is a personal one that depends on your unique situation and values. Discussing the options with your doctor can help determine what path is right for you. With the right approach, you can achieve your dream of becoming a parent.

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