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Everything You Need To Know About InVitro Fertilization

By Nishkak +2 more

IVF or in vitro fertilization is an assisted reproductive technology. It is a method of fertilization in which eggs are extracted from a female’s body, a sperm sample is obtained from the male partner or a donor and an egg and sperm sample are physically combined in a laboratory dish. After that, the embryo is transported to the uterus. Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) and zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) are two further types of ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology).


IVF treatment is often offered as an option for couples who may have one of them suffering from any of the following conditions:

  • Ovulation disorders
  • Fallopian tube complications
  • Endometriosis
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Impaired sperm production
  • As a part of the fertility preservation process for some patients who underwent an ovarian cancer treatment

The IVF Process: Step By Step

1. Fertility medicines

The first stage in the IVF process is to take fertility medications over several months to assist your ovaries to generate a large number of mature eggs that are ready to fertilize. Ovulation induction is the term for this process. Ultrasounds or blood tests may be used regularly to monitor your hormone levels and egg production.

2. Egg retrieval

Your doctor will obtain the eggs from your body once your ovaries have generated enough mature eggs (this is called egg retrieval). Egg retrieval is a simple procedure performed at a fertility clinic or your doctor’s office.

3. Sperm retrieval

Semen sample from the male partner or donor is collected. Sperms are then separated from the semen fluid in the lab.

4. Fertilization

Fertilization is the process of combining your eggs with sperm cells from your partner or a donor in a laboratory. Fertilization takes place after the eggs and sperm are stored together in a specific container. To promote fertilization, sperm with weaker motility (which doesn’t swim as well) might be injected directly into the eggs. People who work in the lab keep track of how the cells in the fertilized eggs divide and become embryos.

5. Embryo transfer

After 3-5 days, an embryo transfer is done and one or more than one embryo is put into your uterus. Conception takes place if any of the embryos stick to the lining of your uterus. 

Risks of IVF

There are few risks associated with IVF while there are other conditions that have a very low association. Let’s have a look:

1. Giving birth to more than one baby

In some cases, more than 1 embryo is implanted and hence the mother may give birth to twins or triplets. The chances of premature birth and inadequate birth weight are high.

2. Miscarriage

The good news is that the chances of miscarriage are the same for women who have conceived naturally and women who have undergone IVF (15-25%). But as maternal age increases, the chances of miscarriage among women who’ve conceived through IVF also increase. 

3. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome

Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin and other fertility drugs are injected during the early stages of IVF to promote ovulation. But these drugs can make the ovaries inflamed and this triggers pain. This condition is called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. Other symptoms include bloating, nausea, diarrhoea, etc. pre-pregnancy, the symptoms may recede in a week but during pregnancy, they may continue for a few weeks.

4. Ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy happens when the egg implants itself in the fallopian tubes instead of the uterus. Since a fertilized egg cannot be sustained outside the uterus, such pregnancy will fail.

5. Birth defects

The mother’s age is a determinant here. However, there is not enough evidence on whether IVF is more likely to result in the birth of babies with deformities.

6. Cancer

There is seemingly no evidence to indicate that IVF increases the likelihood of breast, ovarian, endometrial or cervical cancer. Some studies have found a link between a form of ovarian cancer and some of the drugs injected into the person to trigger ovulation.

The Average Cost of IVF Pregnancy

There are no two IVF pregnancies alike. As a result, the cost for each individual can differ depending on their unique wants and preferences. The average IVF cost, on the other hand, can be generically classified into a range. In India, the minimal cost of IVF therapy can be around 50 to 70,000 Indian Rupees.

A single cycle of IVF treatment has a success rate of 50-72 percent, depending on the patient’s characteristics. As a result, numerous cycles of IVF treatment may be required for the fertilized embryo to implant successfully in the uterus.

Conclusion

Choosing whether or not to pursue in vitro fertilization, as well as how to proceed if the initial attempt fails, is a difficult decision. This procedure can have a financial, physical and emotional toll. Consult your doctor to learn more about your options and whether in vitro fertilization is the best decision for you and your family. 

Also Read: How To Know If You’re Pregnant?

Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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