Yes, HIV positive individuals can undergo IVF treatment. HIV is still the serious condition it was when first identified decades ago. But medical science has come a long way since then, and today’s HIV positive individuals can live normal, fulfilling lives like everybody else. This includes having the opportunity to fall pregnant and give birth to healthy, happy babies. Let’s look at how HIV impacts immunity, the impacts of HIV on IVF treatments, and whether you should consider IVF treatment if you’re HIV positive:
How HIV impacts your immunity
HIV attacks and weakens your immune system, making your body vulnerable to various infections and illnesses. In women, HIV can have a significant impact on their immune system in several ways. HIV-positive women are more susceptible to bacterial, fungal, and viral infections – especially infections that are transmitted sexually. HIV impacts your menstrual cycle, making periods irregular, lighter or heavier, and can also increase your chances of contracting reproductive tract infections.
Impacts of HIV on IVF treatments
- Risk of transmission
HIV can be transmitted from an HIV-positive person to their partner during IVF treatment, especially during the procedures involving the handling of sperm, eggs, or embryos. To minimise this risk, IVF clinics typically use procedures to minimise exposure to infectious materials and may require additional testing and screening for HIV and other infections before proceeding with IVF treatment.
- Slightly lower success rate
HIV can also have a minor impact on the success rates of IVF treatments. Studies have shown that HIV-positive women may have a slightly lower success rate with IVF due to a weakened immune system, which can affect the ability of the embryo to implant and grow in the uterus. However, this shouldn’t deter you from pursuing IVF treatment, so be sure to speak to your fertility specialist about what your chances are of IVF success.
- Medicine interaction
Some HIV medications may interact negatively with the medications used during IVF treatments, including those used to stimulate ovulation or prevent miscarriage. It is important for HIV-positive IVF candidates to work closely with your healthcare providers and fertility specialists to manage your medications and ensure they are safe to use together.
Should you consider IVF if you are HIV positive?
If falling pregnant and birthing a beautiful baby is your dream, nothing should stop you from pursuing it. Today, IVF treatment is available to more and more people who would previously have been disqualified from undergoing IVF. If you are HIV positive and you’re thinking about IVF, we encourage you to pursue it by speaking to your healthcare provider.
Work with South Africa’s most successful egg donor programme
Nurture Egg Donor Program is South Africa’s longest-running, most successful egg donation programme. We abide by the Southern African Society of Reproductive Medicine and Gynecological Endoscopy Regulations (SASREG) egg donation guidelines & ethics. Our Frozen Donor Egg Program, in partnership with Aevitas Fertility Clinic, is the first of its kind to achieve FDA accreditation.
This makes us the perfect agency to partner with if you’re considering IVF and you’d prefer to source your donor eggs from a reputable organisation instead of taking a risk with private egg donors. Reach out to our team of knowledgeable fertility experts with lived IVF experiences to start a conversation today.