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Fertile Period: Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Jun 20, 2024

What is the Fertile Period?

Infertility is more common these days and it occurs when a couple is unable to conceive even after having unprotected sex. When a couple is infertile, it can be possible that the woman is unable to carry a full term pregnancy or the man has a low sperm count. Infertility occurs when a couple has regular intercourse for a period of 12 months without using any form of birth control. In the US, 10% of women between the age group of 15 to 44 years have difficulty being or staying pregnant. These days, 40% to 50% cases include infertility due to impotency arising from the man. A woman usually has a window of 7 to 10 days in a month to get pregnant. This period occurs during ovulation (10 to 14 days after the last day of the menstrual period). Some women find it difficult to get pregnant even after having sex during this fertile period. In such cases, fertility treatment is recommended to couples wanting to conceive.

There are a variety of reason which make men infertile such as low sperm count, low sperm motility (sperm cannot travel well to fertilize the egg) and abnormal sperm. Medical conditions can also hamper fertility in men such as testicular surgery, cancer, infection, varicose vein, overheated testicles, ejaculation disorders and hormonal imbalance leading to testosterone deficiency. Fertility can be affected in women due to conditions like ovulation disorders, premature ovarian failure, PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome), hyperprolactinemia, poor egg quality, thyroid problems, cancer and AIDS. Infertility can be solved with the help of IVF treatment. This guarantees pregnancy and is the most popular method used for conception these days.

How is the Fertile Period treatment done?

IVF (In-vitro fertilization) is becoming extremely common these days due to its success rates. IVF includes a complex series of procedures which are used to assist with conception, genetic problems or treat infertility. During the treatment the mature eggs are retrieved from a woman’s ovaries. The man’s fertile sperm specimen is also collected in a lab. Then the eggs and sperms are combined and fertilized in a lab using the best technology and then it is implanted inside the uterus of the woman. A single cycle of IVF treatment takes around 2 weeks. This is the most effective form of reproductive technology and this procedure can be done by using your partner’s sperm or eggs. IVF can also involve embryos, eggs or sperms from anonymous donors in case one or both the partners have bad quality eggs or sperms. Another woman can also implant the embryo inside her uterus, she is known as a gestational carrier.

The chances of having a strong and healthy baby depends on a lot of factors such as the cause of infertility, age and your overall health. IVF can also be invasive, expensive and time consuming. If more than one embryo has been implanted in a woman’s uterus then there is a high chance of multiple pregnancies. Nowadays since IVF treatment is very effective, there has been a high rise of couples who are trying to conceive via this treatment.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

IVF is usually offered as the only treatment for women over the age of 40 due to its effectiveness. It can also be performed if you have a health condition related to your reproductive organs. You can go in for this treatment if your partner or you have a fallopian tube blockage or damage, ovulation disorder, premature ovarian failure, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, impaired sperm production, unexplained fertility or some genetic disorder.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

If you are undergoing other additional treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy in case of cancer, then IVF may or may not be effected. In such cases, the eggs can also be frozen for use in future if you don’t want to conceive at present due to some health hazards. If you or your partner has certain genetic disorder, then some other treatment can also be used to make sure your baby won’t have the same disorder.

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Are there any side effects?

Even though IVF is safe, it can have certain risks such as multiple births, low birth weight of the baby, premature delivery, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, miscarriage, egg retrieval complications, birth defects, ovarian cancer and stress. Sometimes, ectopic pregnancy can also occur in which the egg implants itself outside the uterus. However, these complications are not so common.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

After all the stages of IVF are completed namely, ovulation induction, egg retrieval, sperm retrieval, fertilization and embryo transfer, then after care is very important. You or your partner has to be extra careful after the procedure. It is common to pass bloody or clear fluid after the procedure. Other than this, breast tenderness, constipation, mild cramping and mild bloating can be experienced for a few days. It is recommended to consult your doctor immediately in case of severe pain in the abdomen area.

How long does it take to recover?

After the last stage of the procedure, you or your partner can easily resume all normal activities. However, vigorous activity should be avoided at all costs. After 12 to 14 days, the doctor will take a urine or blood test to detect pregnancy. If pregnancy doesn’t occur, another cycle of IVF is suggested to improve your chances of getting pregnant.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The price of IVF treatment in India is approximately Rs. 1,50,000 to Rs.2,50,000 per session.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results of the treatment are permanent if the IVF is a complete success. However, if you fail to get pregnant in the first shot, then another round of IVF has to be performed to increase your chances to conceive. The birth of a healthy and normal baby depends on various factors such as maternal age, embryo status, reproductive history, causes of infertility and other lifestyle factors.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

IVF is considered to be very effective, but sometimes easier and less time consuming methods can be implemented to conceive a child. These methods include, IUI (Intrauterine insemination), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), egg or sperm donation, assisted hatching, vibratory or electrical stimulation to ejaculate and surgical sperm aspiration. IVF should be considered if all other methods to conceive fail.

References

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Written ByDr. Shazli Azad Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)Gynaecology
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