6 IVF Facts You Should Know Before Trying to Get Pregnant

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Many women think IVF is their first option if they want it, but the reality is many fertility doctors will tell you to try natural pregnancy first. "If you're 30 to 35, you should try for at least six months and if it's not working, then you do a workup to see what to target," says Dr. Fino.

The most important fact to know about IVF is it's not 100 percent successful—the process can take time, money, and even an emotional toll on your life. "There's a significant emotional drain on the couple and the relationship," says Dr. Fino. "I encourage couples to find alternative outlets like exercise or therapy to find balance throughout the treatment process.

And while there are financing plans to make treatment more accessible, you'll still be looking at a steep price tag. "Package rates for IVF run about $9,000 to $10,000, while the medications to stimulate the ovaries can be $2,000 to $4,000," says Dr. Danzer. "So you're looking at $12,000 to $15,000 overall. " Then there's the cost of additional testing. "The big add-on that people are taking advantage of is genetic testing of the embryos.

Even with all the revolutionary technology we have at our fingertips, there are still a lot of genetic factors we can't control. "Most IVF failures are not something that a couple can fix, even if a woman has a good, healthy diet and exercises—those are important, but it's very age dependent," says Dr. Fino. 6.

These tests, among other things, typically measure your levels of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), which is a good indication of your ovarian reserves (i. e. , how many eggs you have). "If you have a low reserve at age 33, then you're certainly going to have a lower reserve when you're older," says Dr. Danzer.

But like all things related to fertility, your chances of getting pregnant with IVF are better the younger you are—success rates start to decline after your midthirties. "IVF doesn't really fix the age of your eggs, so you have to think about that early," Dr. Fino says.

One of the biggest misconceptions about IVF is that it works right away, but the reality is most women need to do more than one cycle of IVF to get pregnant. "The average is about two to three cycles," Dr. Fino says.

To get the facts on what you need to know about IVF before trying to get pregnant, we spoke with Elizabeth Fino, M. D. , an assistant professor at the department of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Langone's Fertility Center, and Hal Danzer, M. D. , a reproductive endocrinologist and cofounder of the Southern California Reproductive Center, for tips on how to best prepare for your fertility future.

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