Many people delay their childbearing because of unfounded fears around IVF.
Felice was one of those people.
Her husband had done a vasectomy reversal about 18 months before I first met her. She was about to turn 35 so wanted to make sure she was doing everything possible to help herself conceive as soon as possible now that her husband’s sperm counts had returned to an acceptable level.
My first concern with Felice was that even though her husband’s sperm counts were in the “normal” range, they were far from great. Not that I haven’t seen cases where low-range normal sperm counts were enough to create a baby, but I felt his history of surgery was a red flag.
The second thing I worried about was that Felice very emphatically stated “I will NEVER do IVF. It’s just not natural and I am against it.”
I asked her if that was for religious reasons to which she replied that it was not. She just felt that she should conceive on her own or “I’ll assume it’s not meant to be, and we’ll just adopt.”
To me, the kind of attitude Felice – and so many others – have about IVF is based in fear of the unknown (aka “control”) and fear of being judged (aka “shame”).
I understand. And I would never tell someone not to follow their heart and stick to their principles.
I just think it’s important not to do so out of fear and shame, but after clearly assessing the situation and gathering the facts.
And, as far as I’m concerned, IVF is not at all unnatural.
True, there’s the part where the female takes medicine to stimulate her ovaries to produce more eggs. However, that medicine is a natural hormone and it stimulates a natural process of follicle growth.
Secondly, fertilizing an egg, even with ICSI (where the sperm is injected into the egg) is no less natural than planting a seed in the ground.
I don’t think anyone would try to argue that it is against nature to go out in your yard, or a park, or anywhere for that matter, and plant a seed in the ground.
True, that plant may not have grown there otherwise, but how is the process not still part of nature?
I think people do themselves a HUGE disservice by taking IVF off the table before they really understand what it is.
IVF is “In-Vitro Fertilization”, meaning that everything is being done by nature other than the split-second process that initiates fertilization.
Follicle growth – nature. Egg maturation – nature. Embryo development – nature. Implantation – nature. Embryo becoming fetus becoming baby becoming walking, talking human being – nature.
Here’s what eventually happened with Felice. After two years of trying on her own – both naturally and with IUI (which still depends largely on her husband’s sperm function) – she finally was able to hear me out on IVF.
I didn’t tell her I thought she “should” do IVF. I just asked her to let me explain it to her from my perspective – someone who has seen thousands of people do it.
After hearing me out she went forward with it.
It wasn’t anywhere close to the disaster she imagined. She didn’t go crazy from the hormones or suffer any other problems, and there were no complications.
This past year she gave birth to beautiful boy-girl twins.