Did you know that a staggering four out of 24 couples have difficulties getting pregnant? That’s one in every six couples.

After years of trying to have children naturally, many infertile couples choose to undergo in vitro fertilization.

Below are interesting facts about in vitro fertilization:

1. Infertility Is Common

Couples seeking IVF treatments should take consolation in the fact that many other people are facing the same fertility challenges. As indicated above, one in six couples have difficulties conceiving.

2. Conventional IVF Takes Quite Some Time

Couples seeking IVF should understand that the entire conception process takes time. It involves a complex series of procedures.

IVF involves removing a woman’s mature eggs from her ovaries and fertilizing them with sperm outside the body, in a lab, before placing them back in her uterus or another woman’s uterus for surrogacy.

One cycle of the process takes approximately two weeks to complete.

3. The Process Is Costly

Although no expense can compare to the birth of a healthy baby, couples opting for IVF should be financially prepared. It’s not a decision one can make one night and head over to an IVF clinic the following morning. You will have to budget for this procedure.

In Canada, for instance, one cycle will cost approximately $10,000 to $15,000. Other expenses, such as the cost of medications, must also be considered. It may also take more than one cycle of IVF before a couple conceives.

4. Age Does Matter

Younger couples have higher chances of a successful IVF process, which includes women experience reduced fertility between ages 35 to 40. By the time they are 45 years old, their chances of having a successful IVF cycle decline dramatically.

Although men can remain fertile for a longer time, the reduction of sperm production as they age also diminishes their chances of successfully fertilizing a woman’s egg. It’s therefore advisable to consider undergoing IVF treatments when you are young. The longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to conceive.

5. A Number of Treatment Cycles May Be Needed

As just mentioned, IVF success rates vary depending on the age of the woman. Younger women have higher success rates. For older women, a number of treatment cycles may be needed before they can become pregnant. Success rates for the treatment also depend on many other factors, including the cause of the infertility. Even in the best-case scenarios, a success rate of 35% is considered standard for IVF.

6. Embryos Can Be Frozen

A fertilized egg (embryo) can be frozen and stored for future use. Couples can decide to delay conception by freezing embryos. For instance, in a case where a woman is diagnosed with cancer, she and her partner can decide to freeze her embryo for future use before she begins chemotherapy.

There are many other reasons why a couple can decide to freeze an embryo.

7. Genetic Disorders Can Be Detected

With IVF, it’s now possible to screen embryos for genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, using a process called preimplantation genetic diagnosis.

8. All IVF Clinics Are Not Created Equal

Choosing an IVF clinic is perhaps one of the most important decisions a couple seeking in vitro fertilization can make. Besides cost considerations, a clinic’s success rate should be a good guide for prospective parents. In addition, larger clinics tend to have more advanced technologies. You should also seek a clinic that is board certified. Read reviews online and research the doctors at the clinic before making a decision.

During your consultation, ask questions and pay close attention to the rapport you build with the staff. During such a difficult time in your life, it’s important to work with health practitioners who are caring, understanding, and communicative.