IVF - How To Know If You Are Ready For It?
One of the major milestones in a woman’s life is the entry into motherhood. For most women, when this does not happen in the natural logical sequence of things, there is anxiety and lot of pressure from family and friends. However, with advancements now, there are options like intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilisation (IUI and IVF) available, which can help increase the chance of conception and pregnancy.
IVF is where the egg is retrieved from the woman’s womb, fertilised externally and then transplanted back into the uterus where it grows to full term. However, there are always unanswered questions like how long to wait before going for IVF, is it the right procedure for me, etc.
Read on to find answers to some of these questions.
- Maternal age: As a woman reaches 35 and a man reaches 40, the fertility rates drop significantly. The chances that a woman at 35 will conceive is about 20%, which goes down to 5% if the woman is 40. However, this rate can be significantly increased by using IVF, moving it up to about 80%. The quality of the egg would gradually deteriorate, and so if a woman is nearing 40, it is better to consider IVF as the ovarian reserve would be optimal with IVF.
- Failed intrauterine insemination: In couples who have problems with the sperm reaching the uterus, intrauterine insemination (IUI) is first attempted. However, if 3 or more attempts of fail, it is time to consider IVF.
- Duration of inability to conceive: While some couples conceive quite promptly in a month or two, most take about 6 to 8 months of unprotected sex to conceive. Therefore, IVF can be an option if you are failing to conceive even after a year. Less than a year, don’t fret. Take it easy and it might just do the trick.
- Medical health: Both the partner’s medical health should be taken into account. Lifestyle changes like smoking, alcohol abuse, drug abuse should be considered, which can account for poor sexual performance and therefore lead to an inability to conceive. Health conditions like diabetes and heart disease can also lead to infertility. Hypothyroidism in women is another thing that must be ruled out, as it often leads to an inability to conceive.
- Sexual problems with the partner: One of the first things to do before going for IVF is to check that the male does not have any issues. Be it erection issues or ejaculation issues or sperm issues, they need to be ruled out. Sperm quality, quantity, and motility have to be analysed, and if they are optimal, IVF can be considered.
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.