IVF or In Vitro Fertilization is a process where the egg or ovum is fused with the sperm in a laboratory. In vitro is a Latin word meaning “in glass” wherein the process takes place. The procedure of fertilization is induced in a laboratory setting and the zygote sits for 3 to 6 days before it is finally transferred into the uterus of the woman willing to carry it and the process of pregnancy as is known continues forward. This method is a blessing for women who are unable to conceive naturally and it is resorted to as the last step in trying to conceive for it is a costly process not everyone can avail.
Apart from that, the fact that it is restricted in a lot of countries has given birth to “fertility tourism” whereby people move to other countries where it is legal to get IVF. IVF comes with its set of risks and it is important to keep in mind that the process is not 100% effective all the time. While being a ray of hope for many women, it has its own complications that you need to be aware of before you decide to take a plunge into this expensive treatment:
- Ectopic Pregnancy: This is a rare condition where the embryo, which is placed in the womb, somehow develops in the fallopian tubes. It is not clear as to why this happens and studies show that it may occur more in women who have defective fallopian tubes but this can give rise to some serious complications; such as extreme pains in the abdomen, unprecedented increase in amount of pregnancy hormones, even some vaginal bleeding.
- Multiple Births: Since there’s always a risk that IVF may not be successful at the first go, sometimes to increase the chances multiple embryos are planted. This can lead to extremely dangerous consequences like multiple births, twins or triplets even. It poses a considerable health risk for the mother and the child, more so than what comes with a singleton birth. It can lead to miscarriages, raises the chances of neonatal deaths by considerable amounts and premature births.
- Draining resources: Since the problem with IVF is that the success rate depends from person to person, if you fail at the first go, you have to keep trying which is not a very feasible option for each time the treatment costs a lump sum amount. Notwithstanding, there is also the matter of emotional and physical exhaustion and the heavy amounts of hormone treatments that can get to your head and impose immense psychological stress on both partners. It is essential that you surround yourself with supportive family members and friends, who can understand what you are going through.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!