If it was not for assisted reproduction treatment (ART) options, such as IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation), I would not have my two amazing daughters. For that I am extremely thankful. IVF is a challenging journey. If I could have chosen another option, I would have. However, like for many women, it was my only option for pregnancy.
During my IVF journey I felt moody, exhausted, disappointed, teary, bloated, nauseated, frustrated, hopeful and overwhelmed – and that could sometimes all be on the same day!
I managed giving myself injections everyday. I endured the multiple vaginal scans by different specialists. I tolerated the egg pick-up process. It was however always the embryo transfer that I found the hardest.....do I remain hopeful or do I maintain a face of resilience, doubt and realistic pessimism...?
Nonetheless, my IVF journey ended with a good result – even if the process was difficult.
Just as with spontaneous pregnancies, sadly not every IVF journey ends the way we hope. Ongoing infertility, pregnancy losses, pregnancy complications and perinatal loss can happen whichever way we conceive.
For some of us, the pregnancy journey is just tough.
Everyone’s journey with fertility is different. IVF is not necessarily better or worse than for those who conceive spontaneously (the old fashion way), but there are some important differences and added challenges.
IVF brings with it significant extra cost; pregnancy rates are not as high; the physical and emotional swings often greater, adding personal and relationship stress; and the pregnancy that follows can be associated with higher risks.
Pregnancies from IVF can have up to a 2-fold greater risk of preterm birth and low birth weight babies. There are associated increased rates of placenta praevia (placenta covering the cervix), placental abruption (the placenta separating too early in a pregnancy), gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia (blood pressure and protein in a pregnancy after 20 weeks) and higher rates of caesarean section.
For these reasons, we manage your pregnancy closely and carefully, being mindful of these higher risks. Because of this, your pregnancy care with an IVF baby should involve a specialist obstetrician for at least one planning consultation, even if your pregnancy is primarily managed by another healthcare provider.
At TasOGS our obstetricians have significant experience managing high-risk pregnancies, including those from IVF. We are happy to provide single consultations or to care for you and your family throughout your pregnancy journey.