Advantages and Disadvantages of Test Tube Baby - IVF
Infertility affects about 14-20% of couples nowadays. Test Tube baby also medically known as In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), is one of the standard procedure of Assisted Reproductive Technologies. IVF is a common procedure many women undergo to conceive these days. Test Tube baby is an excellent and safe option for women who are unable to conceive naturally. Besides the benefits of IVF, there are certain risks involved in the process. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Test Tube Baby explore the pros and cons of this process of fertility treatment method.
Fertility is a growing concern globally, and every one in eight couples reportedly struggle to conceive in the US alone. A full third of Americans have either sought fertility treatment themselves or know someone who has.
What are the advantages of test Tube Baby?
Couples may experience fertility issues at older age even after trying the natural conceiving methods many times. In such cases, IVF or test tube baby can be beneficial. The following segment highlights the evident advantages of Test Tube baby.
1. IVF helps couples to enjoy parenthood
The foremost advantage of IVF treatment method is that couple who have aged or have risk conceiving naturally can easily conceive the baby. This means, they get a chance to enjoy parenting. For those who have failed to conceive naturally, IVF is a perfect procedure that can help them conceive within a year even after turning 40 or 50 years.
2. Safety is One of the Predominant Advantages of Test Tube baby
IVF is generally a very safe method, and most who have it experience no problems with their health or pregnancy. There may be minor risks involved, which can be avoided easily if parents take necessary prescriptions, diet, and guidance from their healthcare provider.
It should be noted that IVF treatment must be conducted in a well-equipped and hygienic laboratory for the patient to be safe and avoid any failures.
3. IVF is the go-to solution in case of Blocked Fallopian Tubes
For women with blocked fallopian tubes due to any reason such as Chlamydia, pelvic infections, or Appendicitis, a Test Tube baby is the only solution to conceive. Blocked Fallopian tubes prevent the sperms from meeting the male egg. In this case, eggs are retrieved from a woman and fertilized in a Petri dish to carry out the fertilization process through IVF.
The method of IVF doesn’t require the fallopian tubes to be present as it takes the eggs from the ovaries and implants the embryo directly into the uterus.
4. Test Tube baby is a perfect solution for Male infertility
Infertility is a worldwide threat that both men and women suffer from due to many reasons. This could be due to a poor lifestyle or hereditary.
The good news is, if the quality of the man’s sperm or the sperm count is an issue, IVF is a convenient option to conceive. Through IVF the sperm is directly injected into the egg which facilitates successful fertilization of a female egg.
5. There are Lower Risks of Abnormality
Some couples may be at high risk of conceiving a baby with an abnormality. This could be another genetic issue associated with either of the parents. For example, either of the partners may carry the gene that can cause an abnormal condition to the baby being born.
However, with the use of IVF, embryos can be tested before they are implanted in the uterus. Therefore it reduces the risk of having a test tube baby born with a genetic condition.
What are the Disadvantages of Test tube baby or IVF treatment?
As with any medical procedure, there are disadvantages of Test Tube Baby too. The biggest downside of Test Tube baby ranges from negative effects of health or pregnancy failure. Following are some noteworthy cons of having test-tube baby.
1. Failure is one of the Common Disadvantages of Test tube baby
Fertilization failure is the most common downside of IVF method. Even if eggs are picked up successfully, there may be a chance that none of them will fertilize to form the embryo. This problem can sometimes occur either due to poor egg quality or poor sperm quality.
On the other hand, Implantation failure during IVF treatment can occur due to menstruation. This type of failure can be triggered even if you are taking regular medication during the developmental phase of the embryo.
Implantation difficulties during the IVF treatment may lead to miscarriages. They can be caused by autoimmune disorder, by thyroid deficiencies, or by an anatomical irregularity of the uterus.
Miscarriage is losing the pregnancy before 20 weeks and can happen at any stage. Miscarriage is most common before 12 weeks of pregnancy. Every one in five pregnancies is lost through miscarriages. The chances of miscarriages during the Test Tube baby method are higher among older women.
3. Multiple Pregnancy
According to the Southern California Reproductive Center, in 2013, around 40% of all IVF pregnancies in the US resulted in multiple births. Though the IVF method aims at the fertility treatment of one baby at a time, the main reason for this is the practice of transferring more than one embryo at a time in an IVF cycle.
Multiple pregnancy (more than twins) can be considered a common disadvantage of Test tube baby or IVF, especially if you planned a single baby. Also, twins, triplets, and other multiple-birth babies are at much higher risk of premature or low birth weight than a single child.
4. Baby Abnormalities
In-Vitro fertilization or Test Tube Baby treatment is often associated with birth defects in babies. Nearly 2-3% of non-IVF conceived babies are born with some kind of abnormality. One of the concerns about the widespread use of IVF has been the question as to whether there is an increased risk of abnormalities in babies born after IVF.
Studies have shown that IVF pregnancies are associated with a higher risk for multiple gestations, preterm labour and low birth weight. According to a Cohort study, children with birth defects conceived via IVF are more likely to develop childhood cancer compared to those conceived naturally.
As the estimated cost for IVF can go up to $12,000 and $15,000 (Initial IVF cycle) including another $6,000 per frozen embryo to be used in the next cycle.
Another common downside of Test Tube Baby methods is the cost involved. Higher cost and expensive treatment procedure may seem like an uphill battle for most parents.
It’s highly suggested to Hopeful couples to meet with a fertility specialist to discuss their concerns and finalize an action considering their budgetary concerns.
As clear from the data mentioned above, there are both advantages and disadvantages of the Test Tube baby. Both the pros and cons need to be considered in order to determine the right decision for couples planning a baby. Before making the decision, it’s better to have a word with the health expert about the possible risks of Test tube baby treatment method.