Table of Contents
Savannah Guthrie’s Pregnancy
Savannah Guthrie who is an American broadcast journalist and attorney revealed in a new interview that she and her husband Michael Feldman turned to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to get pregnant with their second child, Charley, at the age of 45.
The main co-anchor of the NBC News morning show Savannah, 47, became a mom for the first time a bit later in life, and she admits that she did not expect to get pregnant naturally a second time.
‘I knew it was the winning lottery ticket to have one child — I was 42 when I had [Vale]. So I never dreamed that I would have two. But with Charley, I did do In Vitro Fertilization IVF,’ she told Health in an interview for the magazine’s May cover.
At present, she and Michael, 50, are proud parents two five-year-old Vale and two-year-old Charley.
‘So I would say Vale was a miracle, and Charley was a medical miracle,’ Savannah further added.
She also said that she and her husband talked about IVF ‘a lot’ before going through with it.
‘I didn’t want to start a process where we spent all of our present searchings after some future. when our present was so lovely and beautiful and enough,’ she said.
‘But I also knew I would love for Vale to have a sibling — in particular, because we are older, it was important to me for her to have a sibling, somebody to do life with.’
She ended up going through ‘a few’ rounds of IVF’ before they got ‘lucky’ and found out they were expecting again.
‘I always say, Charley was, like, the last egg out. He really was,’ she said. And we’re so blessed. Going through what we did, it makes you realize that everything has to go just right to have a healthy baby.
What Is In Vitro Fertilization?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a complex series of procedures used to treat fertility or genetic problems and assist with the conception of a child.
At the time of IVF, mature eggs are collected (retrieved) from your ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. Then the fertilized egg (embryo) or eggs are implanted in your uterus. One cycle of IVF takes about two weeks.
IVF is the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology. The procedure can be done using your own eggs and your partner’s sperm. Or IVF may involve eggs, sperm or embryos from a known or anonymous donor. In some cases, a gestational carrier which is a woman who has an embryo implanted in her uterus that might be used.
Your chances of having a healthy baby using IVF depend on many factors, such as your age and the cause of infertility. What is more, IVF can be time-consuming, expensive and invasive. If more than one embryo is implanted in your uterus, IVF can result in a pregnancy with more than one fetus (multiple pregnancies).
Your doctor can help you understand how IVF works, the potential risks and whether this method of treating infertility is right for you.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): Why It Is Done
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a treatment for infertility or genetic problems. If IVF is carried out to treat infertility, you and your partner might be able to try less invasive treatment options before attempting IVF, consisting of fertility drugs to hike up the production of eggs or intrauterine insemination which is a procedure in which sperm are placed directly in your uterus near the time of ovulation.
Sometimes, IVF is offered as a primary treatment for infertility in women over age 40. IVF can also be done if you have certain health conditions. For example, IVF may be an option if you or your partner has:
- Fallopian tube damage or blockage. Fallopian tube damage or blockage makes it difficult for an egg to be fertilized or for an embryo to travel to the uterus.
- Ovulation disorders. If ovulation is infrequent or absent, fewer eggs are available for fertilization.
- Premature ovarian failure. Premature ovarian failure is the loss of normal ovarian function before age 40. If your ovaries fail, they do not produce normal amounts of the hormone estrogen or have eggs to release regularly.
- Endometriosis. Endometriosis occurs when the uterine tissue implants and grows outside of the uterus which often affecting the function of the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes.
- Uterine fibroids. Fibroids are benign tumors in the wall of the uterus and are common in women in their 30s and 40s. Fibroids can interfere with implantation of the fertilized egg.
- Previous tubal sterilization or removal. If you have had tubal ligation which is a type of sterilization in which your fallopian tubes are cut or blocked to permanently prevent pregnancy and want to conceive, IVF may be an alternative to tubal ligation reversal.
- Impaired sperm production or function. Below-average sperm concentration, weak movement of sperm (poor mobility), or abnormalities in sperm size and shape can make it difficult for sperm to fertilize an egg. If semen abnormalities are found, your partner might need to see a specialist determine if there are correctable problems or underlying health concerns.
- Unexplained infertility. Unexplained infertility means no cause of infertility has been found despite evaluation for common causes.
- A genetic disorder. If you or your partner is at risk of passing on a genetic disorder to your child, you may be candidates for preimplantation genetic diagnosis which is a procedure that involves IVF. After the eggs are harvested and fertilized, they are screened for certain genetic problems, although not all genetic problems can be found. Embryos that do not contain identified problems can be transferred to the uterus.
- Fertility preservation for cancer or other health conditions. If you are about to start cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy that could harm your fertility, IVF for fertility preservation may be an option. Women can have eggs harvested from their ovaries and frozen in an unfertilized state for later use. Or the eggs can be fertilized and frozen as embryos for future use.
Women who do not have a functional uterus or for whom pregnancy poses a serious health risk might choose IVF using another person to carry the pregnancy (gestational carrier). In this case, the woman’s eggs are fertilized with sperm, but the resulting embryos are placed in the gestational carrier’s uterus.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): Risks
Specific steps of an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle carry risks, including:
- Multiple births. IVF increases the risk of multiple births if more than one embryo is implanted in your uterus. A pregnancy with multiple fetuses carries a higher risk of early labor and low birth weight than pregnancy with a single fetus does.
- Premature delivery and low birth weight. Research suggests that the use of IVF slightly increases the risk that a baby will be born early or with low birth weight.
- Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. Use of injectable fertility drugs, such as human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), to induce ovulation can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, in which your ovaries become swollen and painful.
Signs and symptoms typically last a week and include mild abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you become pregnant, however, your symptoms might last several weeks. Rarely, it is possible to develop a more severe form of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome that can also Lead to rapid weight gain and shortness of breath.
Miscarriage. The rate of miscarriage for women who conceive using IVF with fresh embryos is similar to that of women who conceive naturally which is about 15 to 25 percent but the rate increases with maternal age. Use of frozen embryos during IVF, however, may slightly increase the risk of miscarriage.
Egg-retrieval procedure complications. Use of an aspirating needle to collect eggs could possibly cause bleeding, infection or damage to the bowel, bladder or a blood vessel. Risks are also associated with general anesthesia is used.
Ectopic pregnancy. About 2 to 5 percent of women who use IVF will have an ectopic pregnancy when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. The fertilized egg can’t survive outside the uterus, and there’s no way to continue the pregnancy.
Birth defects. The age of the mother is the primary risk factor in the development of birth defects, no matter how the child is conceived. More research is needed to determine whether babies conceived using IVF might be at increased risk of certain birth defects. Some experts believe that the use of IVF does not increase the risk of having a baby with birth defects.
Ovarian cancer. Although some early studies suggested there may be a link between certain medications used to stimulate egg growth and the development of a specific type of ovarian tumor, more recent studies do not support these findings.
Stress. Use of IVF can be financially, physically and emotionally draining. Support from counselors, family, and friends can help you and your partner through the ups and downs of infertility treatment.