Should you consider a do-it-yourself IVF kit? The short answer is no
DIY IVF? You might be tempted to try in vitro fertilization at home after hearing about a new do-it-yourself IVF kit. However, our Las Vegas fertility center doesn’t want you to get too excited about this option.
For the health and safety of you and your baby, our doctors strongly advise you not to skimp on medical monitoring when you’re undergoing IVF. We explain more about this new kit and why it shouldn’t replace traditional IVF and cycle monitoring.
What does the do-it-yourself IVF kit involve?
The news is featuring reports of a do-it-yourself IVF kit that costs less than $1,000 and only requires one doctor visit before the egg retrieval procedure. The color-coded kit includes oral and vaginal medications as well as nasal spray and urine testing strips for ovulation monitoring.
The patient does all the preparation for egg retrieval on their own at home and does not regularly come to the fertility doctor’s office for monitoring, bloodwork or ultrasounds. They simply come to the office for the egg retrieval procedure. Our Las Vegas fertility center finds this to be very concerning.
Why is it a bad idea?
The biggest problem our Las Vegas fertility center has with the do-it-yourself IVF kit relates to safety. It’s important for women who are taking medications for ovarian stimulation to receive regular monitoring at their doctor’s office.
Bloodwork and ultrasounds can help a fertility doctor determine whether he or she needs to make dosage adjustments. Some women may need more medication to stimulate their ovaries, while others may need less to avoid side effects and potentially life-threatening ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).
There are also other problems with using a DIY kit for ovarian stimulation in IVF.
- No real cost savings. At $850, the do-it-yourself IVF kit costs about the same as coming into the office for IVF cycle monitoring.
- No FDA approval. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not reviewed this kit because it only gets involved in IVF when someone uses a third party like an egg or a sperm donor.
- No guarantees about IVF success. The clinic distributing the kit claims there is a 95% chance of retrieving at least one egg (based on 25 patients). However, it does not provide data about the chances of ending up with healthy embryos, a successful pregnancy or a live birth.
For all these reasons, our doctors recommend cycle monitoring as part of an IVF cycle at our Las Vegas fertility center. Contact us to learn more and schedule an appointment.