New test for likelihood of success in IVF

Posted on August 23, 2010. Filed under: Family, Health, Pregnancy | Tags: , , |

In Vitro Test Helps Gauge Success

A doctor at Stanford University has developed a prognostic test that helps women and their physicians make decisions about whether to go another round of IVF after the initial round fails.  They use data from the first unsuccessful round for the test, along with other factors that might influence success, like age, body mass index (BMI), hormone levels, and “quality” of embryos (whatever that means).

These tests can be hit or miss, but in light of the weakness of decision-making tools currently available, the super high costs of these procedures, and the emotional toll of another round of failure, I can understand why women would opt for this.

My understanding is that these IVF procedures cost something on the order of $15,000 for a single attempt, and it’s not often covered by insurance, so that’s all out of pocket.  Wow!

Do people really have that much money lying around that they can opt to spend that kind of money on making a baby rather than putting it toward adopting and raising a child?  I’m trying not to be judgmental (really), but it is an actual question I have.

I decided going into this that though I want to experience pregnancy and labor, I don’t want it that much to go through IVF or other treatments.  But then I was talking to a pregnant friend of mine who had gone through a miscarriage, and she was put on a type of drug to “stimulate” conception next time around, as she put it.  It’s not a procedure and it doesn’t cost gobs and gobs of money, but it’s just something to “help” your hormone levels, she said.

So it begs the question: would I consider something like that?  I’m inclined to say no, since if I’m not pregnant inside of a year, it’s really time to pass up the pregnancy issue and refocus all attention on adoption.  But if being on the “stimulator” for even a month gets me pregnant, shouldn’t I consider it?  I don’t know.  If it doesn’t work the first month, shouldn’t I give it 3 months?  How many shades of gray can there possibly be?!

That’s why I’m inclined to just say – give it a year and if it doesn’t happen totally naturally for me, let it go.  Building a family efficiently is my goal.  I don’t want to be too old for my kids’ life milestones.


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