IVF is one of the most common ways to treat infertility. This procedure can be described as one where the woman’s eggs and the man’s sperm are harvested and combined in a laboratory to form an embryo. Two or more embryos are then inserted into the woman’s womb where they will develop during the pregnancy. IVF has a high success rate but there are a number of factors that could interfere with this. Issues with the woman’s uterus such as the presence of scar tissue or polyps could be one such factor. Thankfully, this issue can be identified and treated before undergoing IVF so as to increase the chances of its success.
- A hysteroscopy is a procedure through which the doctor can take a look inside the woman’s uterus. This is an invasive procedure that is performed while the woman is under general anesthesia. It involves inserting a narrow tube with a telescope at one end into the uterine cavity.
- The cavity may or may not be filled with a gas or a fluid. The telescope then captures and transmits images of the uterus to a screen where it can be viewed by the doctor. Any malformations such as polyps, scar tissue, fibroids etc. will be made visible through this procedure. If any such issues are seen, the doctor will then proceed to remove them. In this case, the procedure is not only diagnostic but operative as well.
- The fertilized embryos are then inserted into the woman’s uterus. Since all the scar tissue and uterine abnormalities have been addressed, the embryos then have a higher chance of being successfully implanted. This boosts the chances of a successful IVF pregnancy.
- A hysteroscopy may not be very effective for a patient with recurrent IVF failures but for a woman who is undergoing IVF treatment for the first time, this could be quite helpful. It is rare for a hysteroscopy to have side effects. Infection caused by this procedure is very rare. In some cases, women may experience temporary bloating or cramps after the procedure. This does not affect her fertility in any way. A hysteroscopy is not a typical part of the IVF procedure and hence there are additional costs associated with it. However, in the long run, by increasing the chances of having a successful pregnancy, these costs may be offset by negating the need for a second round of IVF treatment. In the end, the choice is a personal one.
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