Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Age: Any woman who is still ovulating may try IVF, although success rates decline as a woman ages. Women under age 35 have the greatest chance of success with this technique.
Multiple births: Generally, in women who use IVF to establish a live birth, about 63% are single babies, 32% are twins, and 5% are triplets or more.
Cost: IVF is a costly procedure that, in many cases, is not covered by health insurance plans.
Reduced need for surgery: If a woman has IVF, she may not have to undergo surgery on her
Fallopian tubes. It is estimated that the IVF technique has reduced such surgeries by half.
Safety: Studies suggest that in vitro fertilization is safe. A study covered nearly 1,000 children conceived through these methods in
five European countries and found that the children monitored from birth to age 5 years, were as healthy as children conceived naturally. However, other studies have found a slightly increased risk of genetic disorders in children conceived through assisted reproductive technologies. However, adverse outcomes during pregnancy and the perinatal period are higher in pregnancies that resulted from IVF. Some or most of this increased risk is due to the fact that a greater proportion of IVF pregnancies involve multiple gestations. However, there is a slight increased risk of complications in singleton pregnancies resulting from IVF, possibly related to the age of the parents or to the underlying conditions which led to the infertility and need for IVF.