Who is IVF suitable for pregnancy?
IVF is not suitable for everyone but it may be the only way in which some women can get pregnant. For example, it can help:
women whose fallopian tubes have become blocked.
women with a hormonal imbalance who have not responded to other forms of treatment, couples with unexplained infertility, men with low sperm counts or poor-quality sperm (see ICSI on page 155).
couples who carry the gene for certain specific genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis. These couples can now undergo a procedure called pre-implantation diagnosis (PGD) in which embryos are tested and only those that are free from the disorder are transferred.
couples who require a donor egg to become pregnant, either because the woman is no longer producing eggs (perhaps as a result of a previous illness) or because her eggs are not able to mature properly. See page 151 for more on the issues surrounding donor eggs and sperm.
Women who are over 35 can and regularly do get pregnant using IVF. As ever, though, the younger the woman is, the better are her chances of going on to have a successful pregnancy.