I want to clear up some common myths around IVF and infertility. This is pretty important.
Maire and I see a lot of couples who are led to believe that IVF is the magic pill that will solve all their problems.
“We’ve always got IVF if we don’t get pregnant naturally”. We hear this a lot.
The Truth Is Very Different
Unfortunately the figures don’t bear this out. For women under 35 the national average success rate for IVF is only 32.3%. If you’re 35-37 it’s 27.2% and if you’re 38-39 it’s 19.2% (Source: Human Fertilisation and Embryo Authority).
Recent research has shown that the average chance of a couple conceiving by simply trying for another year is in the 30-40% range. That’s about the same success rate as IVF, just by trying for another year.
The problem is you may have waited until later in life to start a family and you may get scared into having IVF simply because you believe your time is running out.
Now these figures are obviously the average and as I’ve said in the past, you may be far from average. However the fact remains that the majority couples who go through IVF come out with nothing to show for it except a large bill and a lot of stress.
It’s also important to realise that these figures do not change whatever the reason you’re not getting pregnant. Whether you have unexplained infertility, endometriosis, male factor infertility or polycystic ovaries has not been show to affect the chance of IVF success.
IVF is also not without its side effects. In the initial phase of IVF, powerful hormones that mimic the onset of the menopause are used to stop your menstrual cycle completely. Another set of hormones are then used to artificially reset your cycle to day one.
It’s not surprising then that this process can leave you feeling emotional and physically exhausted. For many women who have to keep working a full time job while this is going on, the pressure can become overwhelming.
Recent research reported in the national media also shows that IVF can double your risk of developing ovarian cancer later in life. It’s important to state that doubling a very small risk is still a small risk. However these are facts you need to be aware of.
IVF Is Not The First Port of Call
I don’t say these things to alarm you. For some couples who have no other options, these possible risks are worth taking. If your fallopian tubes are blocked for example, it’s unlikely you’re going to get pregnant without some form of medical intervention.
However for the vast majority, IVF should be seen as a last resort, not the first port of call.
There’s also the financial stress, which for many is a big issue. With funding for IVF on the NHS in decline, more and more couples are having to exhaust their savings on procedures that offer no guarantee of success.
The average cost of 1 round of IVF is £5,000 but can be as much as £12,000 (Source: Human Fertilisation and Embryo Authority). The average couple undergoing IVF has three rounds, [ADD]costing an average of £15,000.[ADD]
So What’s the Alternative Then?
What you may not realise is that there are other, more natural options available for many couples that can be extremely effective.
Many couples are trying out these methods first and in many cases the need for IVF, and all its associated side effects, is eradicated all together. I have also treated couples where IVF has failed and who have then gone on to conceive naturally, with the help of acupuncture.
We did an audit of our acupuncture practice between October 2010 and October 2011 and 75% (60 out of 80) of couples who committed to at least 20 treatments over a six month period achieved a successful pregnancy. This includes all ages from 30 to 44. Some of these needed IVF but remember with IVF alone this figure is only 32.3% at best.
Additionally 77% of patients with unexplained infertility who were under 40 were pregnant naturally within 9 months of acupuncture treatment, without the need for IVF. These figures are in line with large research trials carried out in China.
Other natural options that are backed up by good evidence include, nutritional supplementation, psychological counselling and hypnotherapy.
Pregnant in Six Months or Your Money Back?
All this got us thinking, there must be a way to offer a complete natural fertility program for people who may not need IVF, to give them everything possible to improve their chances?
And what if we could remove all financial risk by structuring it so that you only pay if you get pregnant? So if it doesn’t work for you, you’ll still have the money to put towards IVF if you wish.
So that’s exactly what we’ve done.
We’ve teamed up with some of the UK’s leading natural fertility experts, to create a never before seen program that will help 50-70% of couples with infertility to conceive naturally within 6 months.
What’s more you’ll only pay if you have a successful pregnancy.
We’re starting with couples with unexplained infertility but we’ve also got options if you’ve been diagnosed with specific causes such as endometriosis or polycystic ovaries.
I’ll tell you more soon but if this sounds like something you might be interested in, check out our new website:
You can sign up here to register your interest and be the first to find out more (Initially we’re only taking on 10 couples).