Fertility Blog

IUI vs IVF -- Ask The Experts

Question:**Answer:** We agree that having one baby at a time is the safest thing for you and your family. However, undergoing FSH super-ovulation is intended to create more eggs in one cycle in order to increase the odds that one or two will fertilize and implant. This helps to overcome the relative inefficiency of conception for women in their late 30’s. The risks are as you stated, twins or more. Luckily, the risks that a woman undergoing this treatment will get triplets or more is really fairly low – on the order of less than 10% of all pregnancies, with careful monitoring. The risk of twins is higher – on the order of 20% of such pregnancies. If a woman at 38 years old has no identifiable cause for infertility, the goal is usually to get 3-6 follicles. Most of the time, if the treatment is successful, the pregnancy will be a singleton pregnancy (one baby). Your issue of wanting to have a second child and concern for difficulties beyond age 40 is a real one. You may want to discuss with your REI the option of in vitro fertilization. If your doctor thinks you may be a good responder to fertility medications, you could have extra embryos to freeze, which provides some back-up and allows you to preserve some embryos from 38 year old eggs for down the road. Patients contemplating conception must consider lifespan expectations as part of their decision on whether to conceive. Such considerations are not, however, a reason to withhold treatment, and are ultimately the individual and family should decide. -- Dr. Carolyn Givens

Posted on October 10th, 2007
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