IVF Baby - What is IVF

Let us guide you to understand what the terms IVF and IVF baby mean.

What is the Meaning of the Words IVF Baby & IVF?

IVF baby is usually referred to a baby delivered following a successful IVF procedure. The term "IVF" is more commonly used compared to "IVF baby".

IVF stands for in vitro fertilization. In vitro basically means "outside of the body".  In IVF, the fertilization is the process where the sperm combines with the egg occurs in a lab or a clinic.

IVF is a procedure to help couples who are unable to get pregnant naturally, to conceive. It involves the process of combining a man's sperm and a woman's egg outside of the body or womb. This is then followed by the process of transferring the embryo (the end product of combining the sperm and egg) back into the woman's womb to be implanted.

Upon implantation, couples will wait for approximately 2 weeks to find out if they are successfully pregnant.

The first IVF baby

The first IVF baby, Louise Joy Brown, was born on 25 July 1978 in Manchester, England to parents Lesley and Peter Brown. Lesley Brown suffered infertility due to blocked fallopian tubes. Louise Brown weighed 5 pounds and 12 ounces when she was born. 

Several years later, the Browns’ second daughter Natalie, was also conceived via IVF. Natalie became the first IVF baby to give birth to a child of her own. Natalie’s baby was conceived naturally. 

While IVF was a shocking medical breakthrough in the 1970s, today, hundreds of thousands of children around the globe are conceived via IVF.

Are IVF babies normal?

Baby sleeping

An IVF baby is exactly the same as any other babies conceived via sexual intercourse. The only difference between babies conceived via IVF and sexual intercourse is that the wife's eggs are extracted out from the ovaries and combined with sperm outside the body.

In fact, the pregnancy journey for women who are pregnant via IVF is exactly the same as a woman who conceived naturally. You will still go through 3 trimesters or 9 months of pregnancy. You can even consult any obstetrician as well, providing your risk factors for any pregnancy complications are low.

A baby born after a successful IVF cycle looks just the same as any other babies. If a normal healthy embryo is implanted, the baby's mental and physical development will be the same as any other babies conceived naturally.

It is quite impossible to distinguish between a child who was naturally conceived and an IVF baby. There are no proven disadvantages of IVF babies and you can expect IVF babies to be just as healthy as naturally conceived babies. 

Are women who used IVF more likely to have a premature baby?

There is an impression that IVF babies are more likely to be born prematurely. In IVF, sometimes more than one embryo is transferred back to the uterus. 

This causes a higher chance for twins or multiple pregnancies. However, irrespective of how they are conceived,twins and multiples are usually born earlier than a single baby. 

IVF baby delivery

The pregnancy journey for women who are pregnant via IVF is exactly the same as women who conceived naturally. 

You will still go through 3 trimesters or 9 months of pregnancy. In fact, you can even consult any obstetrician, providing your risk factors for any pregnancy complications are low.

Similar to women who have natural pregnancies, you can opt for a natural delivery or a Cesarean delivery.

How much does it cost to have an IVF baby? 

The average cost of IVF in Malaysia ranges between RM14,000.00 to RM16,000.00 per cycle. Price of IVF can go up to RM18,000.00 at top clinics. 

There is also a need to consider that more than one cycle of treatment is needed before you are able to successfully conceive.

Why is IVF Needed?

IVF is usually needed when a couple has advanced fertility problems that cannot be resolved by other methods such as medication or IUI (Intrauterine Insemination). Usually, IVF is performed when couples have failed to conceive naturally or via other methods, such as IUI.

However, IVF is not only a last resort option. In some instances, IVF may be the only way, and will be offered directly by the doctor. These situations may include:

  • Severe sperm defects that results in a very slim possibility of the sperm being able to swim towards the eggs for fertilization to happen.
  • One of both fallopian tubes being blocked, resulting in a very small chance of fertilization to happen.

In our next section, we will explore in-depth, on who may likely require IVF.

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