Common misconceptions about IVF

by | Jul 2, 2024 | Fertility Law |

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an incredible assisted reproductive technology with a growing success rate. IVF is a medical procedure whereby an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body, typically in a lab. This process allows many couples to have children of their own regardless of whether they struggle with fertility.  It has made our clients’ dreams of having children come true. There are numerous misconceptions about IVF, so let’s look at some of the popular myths.

Myth: IVF is hardly ever successful.

Fact: IVF is more successful than one may think, and the success rate increases with subsequent cycles, with studies showing that 48% of women aged 30-31 had a baby after one cycle, 61% after two, and 67% after three [1].

Myth: Babies born from IVF have birth defects such as health and developmental issues.

Fact: Babies who are born via IVF do not experience health and developmental issues at a greater rate than babies born naturally. The possibility is there, like with any method of conceiving a child, and the likelihood of the child having birth defects is no different. However, IVF can be used to prevent passing on genetic issues to a child by doing genetic testing.

Myth: You can anticipate multiple babies when proceeding with IVF.

Fact: IVF does not guarantee that there will be a twin or multiples pregnancy. However, it is worth noting that IVF does marginally increase the chance of more than one baby if the transfer involves multiple embryos. Most patients choose to implant only one embryo per embryo transfer and this has minimized the number of multiples pregnancies.

Myth: A failed IVF cycle is an indicator that another attempt will also be unsuccessful.

Fact: If the first IVF cycle is unsuccessful, this does not assure that the following cycles will fail as well. Often multiple cycles are required for a successful birth.

Myth: Age is not a factor.

Fact: The IVF success rate is impacted by age. Younger women experience a higher likelihood of success than those who are older.

Myth: Freezing eggs guarantees fertilization.

Fact: The process of freezing eggs does not guarantee fertilization. Relative to IVF using frozen eggs, studies have shown there is no discernable difference in success rates when using fresh eggs.

[1] “How likely are you to have a baby after one, two or three IVF cycles?” Victoria Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority, Fertility Treatment,