Before you plunge into the expensive fertility treatment that is IVF, wise up to these must-know facts and figures.

IVF specialist Dr Jothi Kumar dispels common fertility myths.

Fable: Ovulation takes place every day.
Fact: Ovulation occurs in the middle of your menstrual cycle — the egg only survives in your body for about a day.

Fable: You have a 100 per cent chance of getting pregnant every month.
Fact: Provided there are no health complications, you and your hubby only have a 25 to 30 per cent chance of conceiving each month.

Fable: IVF offers a 100 per cent success rate if you have good quality embryos.
Fact: Even the best IVF clinics offer a success rate of only 50 to 60 per cent.

Fable: IVF is the answer for women who decide to have a baby when they are older.
Fact: IVF success is still low as long as you’re old, since the underlying problem is a deficit in the number and quality of the eggs.

In fact, fertility specialist Dr Kelly Loi notes that IVF’s success rate dips with age, just like natural fertility. “Women younger than 35 stand a 40 per cent chance. When they are over 35, it falls to 30 per cent. Past 40 years, you only have a 10 to 15 per cent chance that it will work out.”


* IVF carries a 15 to 20 per cent chance of miscarriage and a five per cent chance of an ectopic pregnancy — when the embryo has implanted outside the uterus.

*Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome may result when hormone injections cause fluid from the ovaries to ooze out. This leads to excessive accumulation of fluid in the abdomen and lungs and can cause blood clots.

*Since a maximum of two eggs can be implanted, you may have twin pregnancies, which can result in premature labour.

*You’ll experience discomfort such as abdominal bloating, lower abdominal cramps and nausea as a result of daily hormone injections two weeks before your IVF treatment.

Dr Jothi Kumar, an infertility and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) specialist at O & G Partners Clinic for Women and Fertility Centre.

Photo: iStock

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