IVF practices are increasing every year, but there are still cats in the boxes that need to be disclosed. It’s a privilege to be an IVF practitioner- you bring life into the world. However, there is a lot that some or all of the IVF practitioners fail to inform and educate to the infertile couples and in the same way, admit to what we don’t know.
One of the worldwide known stories is about Emma Gibson “Snowbaby”, who is now almost two months old. Emma’s birth made headlines worldwide after her twenty-five-year-old mother gave birth to her, having been conceived in 1992. Emma had been frozen as an embryo for 25 years and this is the longest ever frozen embryo resulting in a successful birth. The embryo had been donated to a faith-based Tennessee clinic and helped Emma’s mother to hold a child.
Emma’s face in newspapers, TV screens or anywhere contradicted any signs of having been frozen for more than 2 decades and currently, her birth is one of the major reproductive advances in the previous year. Apart from Emma’s tremendous birth, a transplanted uterus, and editing gene mutations in human embryos occupy the list of the grand advances in the IVF sector
Now, the question that lies unanswered is how much awareness do these parents hold about IVF practices and pregnancies? Neonatalogists and medical professionals for Emma’s case openly confirm the safety of the procedure and it’s good health outcomes.
The fact is that there is no direct answer when it comes to the possible expectations of an IVF pregnancy and birth. This can also be based on the fact that naturally conceived pregnancies also go afoul than ever predicted. One of the common questions in IVF is either transferring frozen embryos or fresh embryos for a safe pregnancy. However, it must be noted that there are no different immediate perinatal outcomes such as birth weight, preterm delivery, and pregnancy loss. In addition, fertility experts are still carrying out different studies on the impact of the freezing period on safety
Many patients are never informed about the roots of the frozen embryos, eggs, and the possible effects of her IVF pregnancy. According to Tina Gibson, the mother of Emma Gibson, she was never told about the freezing time of the embryo until she was pregnant. Instances like these may wreck the IVF field much as it is very advantageous today in solving infertility cases. Some of the related IVF complications include birth defects, birth-related complications, low birth weight, preterm delivery, and growth restriction.
It should also be noted that very few studies exist on the long-term effects on the child’s health in case any or a number of these complications occur. And also, there are a few regulations on ART in some countries and particularly a few of the IVF clinics openly follow the existing regulations and protocols
Generally, the babies born out of IVF increase every year, with some clinics attaining a total of 1,000 in a year. This is because the pregnancies result in twins, triplets among others. In the real sense, there are increasing cases in India currently where women aged 45 and above give birth to a baby or babies and the babies are normally admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit due to low birth weight or prematurity
If fortunate, IVF practitioners or neonatologists may inform the pregnant women about the imminent effects of premature delivery. This commonly happens prior to delivery. When all such information is revealed during the consultation process, we may find that a higher percentage of infertility patients may choose to discontinue the treatments. Certainly, you will be informed about the entire delivery process, who will be in the room, what happens to the baby, chances of not hearing the baby’s cry once born and so on.
Couples who choose to continue with the treatments may express total disappointment when their baby or babies end up in a neonatal intensive care unit, stressing that they don’t remember any conversations about this possibility or they hardly put more emphasis on it.
Folding the chapter, all couples/patients seeking infertility treatments deserve to know the possible risks of their pregnancies. This must be during consultation or prior to the transfer of the embryos to the woman’s uterus. Counseling must go hand in hand with the ART practices/treatments with the fact that they are extremely costly and involve emotional dilemmas.
The IVF sector/ART practices have attained grand accomplishments in the past years and this proves to be the beginning. But, every player must play his or her part accordingly for efficacy without complications and hurdles.