What is IVF?
In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) consists of a series of procedures that are used for the treatment of genetic or fertility problems, while assisting the conception of a child. One of the most effective forms of assisted reproductive technology, IVF procedures can be conducted using a woman’s own eggs and her partner’s sperm. It can also be done by taking the eggs, sperm or embryos from a known or unknown donor. There are some cases where a gestational carrier (a woman with an embryo implanted in the uterus) can be used.
During IVF, mature eggs are retrieved from a woman’s ovaries and fertilized with the sperms in the lab. Once it has been fertilised, the egg or eggs are implanted back in the uterus. A cycle of IVF can take about 2 weeks.
One may have to undergo an IVF treatment in the following conditions:
What Procedure is followed :
Before beginning the process of IVF, both the partners may have to go through certain pre-procedure screenings such as:
IVF treatment involves the following steps:
Once the embryo has been transferred, you can go back to your regular schedule. However, your ovaries may be enlarged for a few days, so it is advisable to avoid any vigorous activity that may cause discomfort.
The side effects of post treatment may involve:
In case you have a moderate or severe pain after the transferring of the embryo, consult your doctor who will evaluate your condition. Any indication of a complication like an infection pr ovarian torsion can be examined and treated.
Risk & Complication
An IVF procedure may bring along with it certain risks and complications like:
Make sure that you continue having the medications after the embryo transfer has been successfully completed. It is better to avoid travelling during this period. It is generally after 2 weeks after the embryo transfer that you have to go for a pregnancy test. It is important not to be stressed during this phase, but be optimistic and occupied. Also, the pregnancy test must be conducted by a doctor at the clinic and not by yourself at home.
The cost of an IVF treatment may vary from Rs. 10,000 – Rs. 70,000, depending on your condition.
There are two tubes on either side which connect the ovaries to the uterus. These are the fallopian tubes, and in the majority of the cases, this is where the fusion between the egg and the sperm happens. If there is any problem in either of the fallopian tubes, then the egg cannot travel down into the uterus and there cannot be fusion. Tubal infection or salpingitis and blocked fallopian tubes are some of the most common causes of infertility. In some cases, the sperm may travel up the fallopian tube halfway till the area of blockage and fuse with the egg. This is known as ectopic pregnancy, which is out of place.
Tubal infection is often a result of sexually transmitted diseases including trichomonas, gonococci, and chlamydia. Other general bacteria like strep and staph also produce salpingitis. In most cases, tubal ligation per se is not an issue. However, it can cause problems like blocked tubes or hydrosalpinx. In these cases, the complications arise. In some women, treating these could be the cure for their infertility itself. Blocked fallopian tubes can stop the eggs from traveling down the ovaries and fuse with the sperm. If the block is removed, then infertility is solved. Similarly, if the tubes are filled with pus as a result of the infection, then it does not produce a conducive environment for fertilization.
With IVF being used as a treatment for infertility, the tubes need to be cleared for infection or blockages. These might continue to pose problems and reduce the overall success rate of IVF. These are easy to diagnose so that the infection can be completely cleared and pus drained if required. Surgical debridement can also be done if required so that the tubes are cleared. In some cases, a part of the tube may be removed so that the issue is addressed completely. A course of antibiotics is often required to completely clear the infection. After that, once ovulation is stimulated, then the eggs can travel down so that they can be retrieved and frozen for further use.
Undetected blocked fallopian tubes of silent infection (chronic salpingitis, which does not present with any symptoms) can be one of the causes of failure to conceive with IVF. This can be quite demotivating for both the couple and the medical team. With IVF, there is no clear role for the fallopian tubes, as the eggs can be retrieved from the ovaries and placed directly in the uterus. So, in severe cases of infection, the tube(s) may be even completely removed to improve chances of fertility.
IVF is a useful process for people who want to become parents but have exhausted all other means of being so. However, the in-vitro fertilization method is definitely not suitable for everyone. Here are some facts you need to know about the procedure and they will help you determine whether you are suited for the program or not.
1. IVF Takes Time
Even though most clinics may not tell you this, but the IVF procedure takes a bit of time to deliver the desired results. On an average, the treatment can take anywhere between four weeks to a couple of months to produce results, depending on the patient’s ability to respond to the medicines used. The procedure involves artificially stopping the menstrual cycle of the woman. Next, the ovulation process is stimulated so that the healthy egg can be extracted from the womb. The eggs chosen are then fertilized and left to undergo embryo culture for another six days. After this, the eggs are implanted back into the mother’s body.
2. The process Can Be Stressful
IVF treatment and pregnancy can be quite a stressful period of time for the parents in question. The mother needs to be constantly monitored to check for any abnormal response to the pregnancy. Regular checkups by the doctor along with blood tests may also be suggested. However, this stress has very little chance of affecting the quality of the pregnancy. So, do not worry that overstressing yourself will lead to complications for the embryo.
3. More Than One Cycle Needed For Pregnancy
IVF treatment occurs in cycles. Each cycle involves transplanting a fertilized egg into the womb. However, pregnancy, right after completion of the first cycle, is quite rare. In fact, almost all patients need to undergo several similar cycles in order to get pregnant. So, do not be disheartened if you do not get pregnant after undergoing the very first cycle of IVF treatment.
4. IVF Is Costly
Not everyone is able to afford the high cost of IVF. Others may be able to afford the cost of undergoing a couple of cycles of the same, after which the high costs can become a burden. Only a select few can bear to carry on with the treatment until the pregnancy arises. So, consider your financial condition prior to signing on for such a treatment option.
At any rate, consult with an expert to get an even better idea about the IVF procedure and the consequent pregnancy.
IVF or In Vitro Fertilization is a very common treatment for infertility. This process of fertilization involves, extracting eggs, retrieve a sperm sample and then get the egg and sperm combined manually in a laboratory dish. The embryo then gets transferred to the uterus. It is an artificial way to conceive and applicable for couples who cannot have children conventionally.
Problems Which Lead To In Vitro Fertilization
Now we will have a look at the problems which ultimately force couples to go for IVF and conceive children through artificial procedures:
Infertility Issues in Female: Generally for women, they produce the egg and then it’s about moving it to the uterus where the sperm can fertilize it. When everything goes well, the fertilized egg goes on to become an embryo and then it gets implanted on the wall of the uterus and grows accordingly. Any deviation from this normal process can lead to infertility.
One of the most common causes of infertility among females is Endometriosis. Endometriosis causes scar tissue which results in the blockage of fallopian tubes. In some other cases, there may not be any blockage in the fallopian tubes but there might be difficulty in moving the egg along to the uterus where the fertilization can take place. In such a situation, IVF helps to the get the eggs extracted directly from the ovaries, fertilize them in the lab, hence avoid the problems of the fallopian tubes.
Problems With Ovulation Can Be Another Cause Of Infertility: Ovulation problems generally occur for women who are aged 35 years or over and can have issues in producing good quality eggs. This is where IVF can come into play. It can get the woman’s ovaries stimulated by fertility drugs, help produce a number of eggs and then allow them to be fertilized in the laboratory. In Vitro Fertilization helps in giving greater control, when there is a possibility of multiple births, rather than using only the fertility drugs. IVF makes sure to use donor eggs from a donor younger woman, which in turn largely improves the possibility of a woman, who is 40 years old or more than that, to get pregnant.
Infertility Issues Among Males: For males, it is about producing healthy sperm and get them inside a woman’s uterus, so that there is a chance of an egg fertilization. Now, infertility problems arise, if anything goes wrong with this particular process. One of the main problems could be, low sperm count, which fails to penetrate the egg, while other issues could be, sperm is unable to survive in the uterus’s mucus, problem with intercourse, tube blockage. Males can get rid of these problems through IVF treatment, where the sperm could get extracted from the testicles, avoiding the blockages and hence used for fertilization of eggs in the lab.
So, this segment has talked of what IVF is all about and what kind of problems among males and females could lead to IVF treatment.
A landmark development, which could help widen the scope of fertility treatments, has been achieved through the growth of human eggs from the nascent stage to full maturity outside the body.In UK, one out of six couples face fertility problems and so the question is that whether this development in any way offer some hope to all those people.
The majority of the opinion is that it presents an important step in the right direction but the general progress in research into the very basic secrets, related to the origin as well as the creation of life, gets measured by decades more than years.
For instance, around 66 percent of women, who are under the age of 35, undergoing in-vitro fertilisation treatment, will not conceive a baby after going through their treatment cycles. Specialists are not sure about the fact that why most of the IVF treatments fail but the development leading to advancement of knowledge along with the study of human eggs, which are grown in lab, could surely be encouraging signs for boosting rate of success in IVF.
The rate of success achieved through IVF treatment may give disappointing number but thankfully, due to the research, they are around 85 percent that what they were in 1991. A similar kind of pattern might be followed while transforming human eggs which are lab-grown into feasible treatment procedures. The research was carried out by one Professor named Evelyn Telfer and colleagues at Edinburgh University, the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh and the New York Center for Human Production.
Ten women, who were undergoing caesarean-section births had donated their eggs, which were grown from ovarian tissue.The research had gone on to provoke some tough questions, like why did few of the developed eggs mature in only 22 days in comparison to the five months, which it would have normally taken in the body and also why only 10 per cent of the eggs reach full maturity. The idea of the lab-made eggs attaining maturity should be same as that of the natural cycle was challenged by Professor Telfer. He had given out his argument that the fact it takes longer in the body because eggs have to work simultaneously with the hormonal cycle of a woman, which consists of a number of control mechanisms within the body.
Opinion of the ProfessorThe professor opined that he would like to describe the way eggs tend to grow outside the body in their system not as any kind of accelerated development but it is to be seen as development without any brake being put into it. As far as the logic goes, he felt that there was no concrete reason why human eggs should take a number of months to mature.He had also gone on to say that the main problem was the lack of basic knowledge about human eggs. Lack of progress made by IVF in the last 40 years is mainly due to the lack of understanding about the fundamental aspects of how human egg develops. He even believed that this kind of research work would allow them to give the necessary insight which they need. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Suffering from the problem of infertility can be a heartbreaking as well as a very frustrating process but still with different kinds of IVF treatments available today, a lot of women can realize their dreams of having their own family. In Vitro Fertilization is a laboratory procedure where the sperm and egg are fertilized outside the body. It has been more than 35 years since the first baby was born through this process of IVF and now it has become the go-to method for treatment regarding reproduction, which assists in the birth of over 5 million babies. With the availability of different kinds of IVF treatments currently, to navigate one’s way through the in vitro fertilization process can seem to be quite confusing as well as intimidating.
Now, we take a look at the difference between the types of IVF treatments and see if they are right for a woman.
Different Types of IVF
Since the time IVF came into being, more than three decades ago, it has become the leading form of assisted reproduction, having an estimated amount of 70000 babies per year getting conceived through this procedure. The procedure of IVF involves a really complex series of procedures where an egg gets removed from the ovaries of a woman and fertilized with sperm in a laboratory. The fertilized egg, which is called an embryo then, gets returned to the womb of the woman for its growth and development.
Natural Cycle IVF: Natural Cycle IVF bears similarity with the standard IVF treatment but this takes place without having to use medication for stimulating the ovary leading to the preparation of multiple eggs. Natural IVF basically monitors the ovulation cycle of a patient with the intention to retrieve only one egg. This is unlike conventional IVF, which requires retrieval of multiple eggs. Women who opt for Natural IVF due to the process being more economical compared to the traditional treatment. Natural Cycle IVF requires less time as compared to the traditional one and is thought to be a safer as well as stress-free treatment option by certain experts.
Mini IVF: Minimal Stimulation IVF or Mini IVF is a kind of IVF, which is supposed to be somewhere between Natural IVF and Traditional IVF. The Mini IVF treatment is different from the Traditional IVF, with regard to how it gets administered through medicines. In case of Mini IVF treatment, less amount of medication gets administered by the specialists, so that there can only be production of two to three eggs at a time, in comparison to 10 or more in case of conventional IVF.
At the time of treatment, the retrieval of eggs and fertilization take place just like they are done in any other IVF process. The only difference lies in the stimulation part, which is lot less in this case compared to regular In Vitro Fertilization. Despite Mini IVF being suggested as a gentler approach to IVF, some researchers feel that less number of eggs might reduce the possibility of getting success.
Despite the positives, certain fertility experts send out a warning due to the significantly low chance of pregnancy with this process. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
What is IVF?
What Procedure is followed :
Risk & Complication