What is IVF?
IVF or In Vitro Fertilization is the process in which the egg and sperm are fertilized outside the body and then implanted in a woman’s embryo. The treatment does not take place in a single procedure but in several steps over a period of time or cycle. An IVF procedure involves several careful steps:
- Any IVF treatment begins with Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), where the women are administered hormonal medication or injections to produce more eggs. Then the eggs are monitored.
- The egg is retrieved from the women’s embryo.
- Sperm is collected and thawed.
- After careful monitoring and proper screening, both the collected egg and sperm are fused together and allowed to mature.
- The last and final step is placing the embryo in the womb of the women for pregnancy to take place.
Who is Good Candidate for IVF?
IVF has become very common with many couples opting for it in recent times, and also there has been a proliferation of fertility clinics and centres. However, it is better for couples thinking about going the IVF route to know whether they fit the criteria of an IVF candidate:
- Couples trying to conceive for a long time - If you can’t get pregnant naturally, then you can go for the IVF treatment.
- Women who have been unsuccessful with other fertility treatments - Couples who have opted for IUI (intrauterine insemination) and fertility medications and have been unsuccessful should consider going for the IVF treatment.
Couples suffering from other types of infertility or problems can also opt for IVF. They include:
- Fallopian Tube - If your tubes are scarred, blocked or damaged, then IVF is the way to go. The fallopian damage or blockage may be caused by an inflammation of the fallopian tube due to chlamydia (sexually transmitted disease). Going for IVF is ideal as the treatment bypasses the fallopian tube completely.
- Endometriosis - It is a condition where the endometrium tissues lining the uterus are displaced all over the pelvic region. This results in preventing the fertilized egg from travelling to the uterus. Women suffering from this condition can opt for IVF treatment.
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) - Women suffering from PCOS have difficulty in getting pregnant sometimes. For these women, IVF is an excellent option.
- Male Infertility - Men suffering from low sperm count or low motility can take the help of IVF treatment.
As there are good candidates, there are also couples or women who might not benefit from an IVF procedure. They include:
- Women who are not producing healthy eggs and also not willing to use a donor.
- Conditions in women that can affect the IVF treatment like fibroid tumours, uterine abnormalities or ovarian dysfunctions.
- Obese women have very high BMI (body mass index) and are told to lose weight to increase the chances of getting pregnant.
- Women who are past 40 years of age have a greater chance of having a miscarriage.
If you are considering going for IVF treatment, go to your doctor and talk to him about all the pros and cons involved in the process before finally taking the plunge.
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