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The IVF photo that went viral

Fertility doctors and our IVF patients get this photo.

The photo above which was recently published on the Facebook page of a St. Louis fertility center by one of their patients shows a child conceived by IVF and the needles and syringes (or at least some of them) required to conceive her, laid out in the shape of a heart. It went viral on the internet and it is not difficult to understand why. Sometimes a photo, particularly ones taken during wartime or political protests can capture the essence of something better than any words.

In vitro fertilization and other assisted reproductive technologies have been a game changer for couples suffering from infertility.

While there are many couples who conceive with low tech treatments, IVF has enabled couples with more complex problems such as very poor sperm quality or damaged fallopian tubes to conceive. With today's success rates, women have a very high chance of having a baby using IVF.

But, IVF also involves costs, and they are not just financial.

It means subjecting yourself and your partner to an extensive series of shots and procedures, and what IVF patients describe as an emotional roller coaster. That is the brilliance of this photo, that it shows in a simple and direct way, at least a part of what couples suffering from infertility go through.