A record number of babies--1 or 2 in every 100--were born in 2012 thanks to in vitro fertilization (IVF), according to a new report from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. Is it because more women are having trouble having kids, or is it because they're waiting longer to start trying, thus reducing their chances of becoming pregnant with ease?
I have a friend who told me and everyone else she knew that she and her husband had decided not to have kids, only to find out years later, when announcing their pregnancy via IVF, that they had been silently struggling and trying all along. Some women prefer to keep their struggles private, and that's completely understandable. Others share their feelings, in part in the hopes that other women won't feel so alone. I watched another friend visibly struggle with IVF for years before qualifying for a small clinical trial that helped her to finally become pregnant. When that baby was born, there was a collective cheer from all the family and friends who'd watched her journey.
IVF is not cheap, and it's not easy. Each treatment costs upwards of $12,000, an amount many families simply can't afford. For those who think the growing popularity of IVF is some sort of safety net that allows them to pursue career first, check out these stats: The study also found the IVF success rate was significantly higher for women under the age of 35 compared with those who were older (40 percent vs. 31 percent for those between the ages of 35 and 37). Those numbers drop significantly after a woman passes the age of 40.
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Regardless of the reason for it, IVF is a long, painful process for many women. Have you ever turned to IVF or do you know someone who has? I'd love to hear your story because if there's one thing I know for sure, it's that there's nothing like the support of another mom.
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