Before undergoing an In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment, infertile couples have several other options such as Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), surgery, or even surrogacy. If other options are not available for them, IVF might be the last option for infertile couple.
There are several key differences in an IVF pregnancy versus a natural pregnancy:
|Normal Pregnancy||IVF Pregnancy|
|Level of Awareness||Most women who become pregnant naturally do not know that they are pregnant until a month or more into the pregnancy.||In IVF Pregnancy, the awareness begins right after the embryo is transferred into her uterus. IVF patients may be dealing with a higher level of anxiety / sensitivity to early pregnancy symptoms than many women experience at this stage.|
|Reproductive Cycle||No medication. In a normal cycle, a woman’s ovary grows and matures a single egg inside an egg follicle at a time.||A woman takes medications for 7-10 days to stimulate both her ovaries to grow and mature multiple egg follicles.|
|Early Pregnancy / Pre-menstrual Symptoms||Normally, you will feel any different until around 3 weeks. Some may notice the “implantation spotting” or feel early pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue, tender breasts, nausea, a heightened sense of smell, food aversions, and more frequent urination. 50 percent of women had some symptoms of pregnancy by the time they were 5 weeks pregnant. 70 percent of women had symptoms by 6 weeks. 90 percent of women had symptoms by 8 weeks.||Because of the fertility medications during the ovarian stimulation phase, IVF patient may experience symptoms of early pregnancy. You may feel tired, nauseated, bloated, tenderness / soreness in breasts and moody. Although, these symptoms do not necessarily mean you are pregnant. Symptoms of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) can resemble the symptoms of early pregnancy. Therefore, if you experience severe cramping, bloating, or nausea, you should immediately contact your doctor.|
|Sperm collection method||The traditional way of making love; male will have to ejaculate inside woman’s vagina.||The male needs to refrain from any sexual activity for at least 2 days, but not more than 10 days before you collect your sample. The sperm is collected by masturbation.|
|Pregnancy Rate||A healthy 30-year-old has only about a 20% chance each month to get pregnant naturally; by age 40, that drops to about 5%, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Almost a third of women ages 40 to 44 are infertile, compared with 22% of women ages 35 to 39 and 9% of women 25 to 29.||
|Birth Defects||About 6.6 percent of non-IVF children had birth defects.||About 9 percent of IVF children had birth defects. Therefore, babies conceived through IVF were 1.25 times more likely to be born with abnormalities.|
|Cost||No cost.||Extremely costly. (see our IVF cost comparison here)|
|After Becoming Pregnant||No difference.||No difference.|
There are no difference in normal pregnancy vs IVF pregnancy after becoming pregnant.