Conception

Natural pregnancy after IVF or adoption

You will see that you will end up getting pregnant after IVF (or after adoption)!

How many times have couples with fertility problems heard this phrase from relatives and friends?

Are they just stories that are told or is there some truth behind these statements?

There aren’t many studies on it. A 2016 British research  calculated that women who underwent assisted reproduction such as ICSI or IVF had a 29% chance of conceiving naturally within 6 years following treatment.

In another 2012 study published in the journal Fertility & Sterility , researchers focused on 2,100 couples who had undergone fertility treatments in the previous decade. Of the couples who failed to conceive with treatment, 24% had a baby naturally. Of those who had a baby through treatment, 17% subsequently conceived another baby without needing medical attention.

However, there are no recent data that clarify whether couples are able to conceive naturally after adoption. Despite this, it seems that it is not really a myth.

Why do pregnancies come naturally after ART or an adoption?

The reason is that many of the ‘infertile’ couples are not actually infertile.

Many couples using fertility treatment do not necessarily need IVF to conceive

More and more couples resort to IVF prematurely due to the fear of being infertile. By definition, infertility is not being able to achieve pregnancy after a year of trying hard.

One in 8 couples will have difficulty conceiving a child. However, anxious couples seek fertility treatment earlier than necessary in order to have a baby. Many do not want to wait a full year of trying.

Many of the couples who turn to fertility centers are not infertile but sub-fertile.

This means that it is not impossible to conceive on your own, but the probability of conceiving is lower than average.

Treatments such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or IVF can speed up the time to pregnancy in these sub-fertile couples, but the fact remains that these couples would probably still have achieved pregnancy naturally, simply by trying longer .

According to experts, many so-called infertile couples have never actually been infertile: they just need more time to conceive.

The same goes for couples who adopt.

Another factor that could play a role is stress . If IVF is successful or your adoption application is accepted, the joy and relief of finally becoming parents can ease the anxiety and tension surrounding infertility.

However, it remains difficult to demonstrate a link between the decrease in stress and subsequent conception.

Studies on the impact of anxiety and stress on fertility are many but none really conclusive. In fact, there are many couples with high levels of stress, who still manage to conceive naturally without much effort.

Ultimately natural conception after adoption or IVF may be due to less anxiety or just luck, or both. In any case, it is a blessing that is very welcome!

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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