Miracle Babies? They come from good raw materials…..
It seems like ART can create miracle babies where there was no possibility of pregnancy, but the truth is that ART can only make miracles with good raw materials. Just because IVF and ICSI and PGD can be done, does not mean that they will create life if the eggs and the sperm are not good. Patients are often mislead with stories of conception against all odds, and while these conceptions can occur, they are truly infrequent and miraculous.
So, what can patients do to have the best success?
1. Listen to the odds your doctor gives you, listen carefully. Good physicians are not going to sugar coat your chances of conception. If you are over 40, are in poor health or if the male partner has no sperm, the chance of conception will be lower or non-existent. Modern medicine cannot overcome everything.
2. Be realistic about your chance of success and carefully consider what your goals are. If your goal is to have only genetic offspring and adoption is out of the question, then you will not want to investigate options that do not include your own gametes. If, on the other hand, you might be willing to adopt to have a child to nurture and love, then you may want to consider donor gametes as an option for conception. In either case, carefully consider what your chance of pregnancy is and be realistic about your chance of success.
3. Be in the best health you can possibly be. Good eggs and sperm do not typically come from people who are overweight, underweight, smokers, drug users, couch potatoes, or poorly nourished. I had a patient who appeared perfectly healthy. During the IVF cycle, the eggs retrieved looked like they had been fried. On further questioning, we discovered that the way she controlled her weight was to eat 100 calorie packs foregoing healthy non-processed food because she knew how many calories were in the packs. She was mal-nourished and did not know it. The good news was after 3 months of good nutrition and a visit to the nutritionist, she was able to change this.
4. Do what you can to control stress and if you are struggling with it, get help! The Mind-Body Medicine program really works and statistics prove this again and again. Patients who complete the program are not only more likely to conceive, they are more likely to have easier journeys on their path to parenthood and have better relationships with their spouses.