IVF or In Vitro Fertilization is an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) which is also known as test tube baby. In IVF, the egg is combined with sperm outside the body in a laboratory. After this, the formed embryo is placed inside the uterus for further process. On average, only 5 % of the couples who face the problem of infertility go for IVF treatment.
Causes When IVF is Used
IVF is performed by the intended couples who want to have a baby but are not able to conceive it naturally due to various reasons. So, here are the main causes of infertility where IVF can be used:
- Female Infertility: Reduced fertility in women due to their high age, majorly above the age of 40
- Male Infertility:Male infertility deals with low sperm count and abnormalities in sperm shape
- Fallopian Tubes: Problems related to Fallopian tubes like blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
- Endometriosis: It is a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus starts to grow outside the uterus
- Antibody Problems: There can be some antibody problems also which can harm the sperms or the eggs
- Ovulation Problem: Reduction in the ovarian function
- Some unexplained infertility
IVF Process Step by Step
Steps to be Performed in the Process of In Vitro Fertilization:
The whole process of IVF involves a total of 5 steps:
- Egg Retrieval
- Embryo Culture
Now to get a clear idea of each step, we will explain it one by one:
- Stimulation: Normally a woman can produce only one egg during each menstrual cycle. However, in the case of IVF technique multiple eggs are required, as using multiple eggs increases the chances of developing a viable embryo. For this purpose, fertility eggs are given to increase the number of eggs that the body can produce. Meanwhile, the doctor performs various blood tests and ultrasounds to keep a check on the number of eggs produced.
- Egg Retrieval: This step is also known as follicular aspiration. Here surgical procedure is used and is performed with anesthesia. The doctor uses an ultrasound wand to guide a needle through the vagina, into the ovary and into the egg containing follicle. The needle suctions eggs and fluids out of each follicle.
- Insemination: After the stimulation and egg retrieval, the semen sample is taken from the male partner. Now sperms are mixed with the eggs in a Petri dish, by a technician. Sometimes, the embryos do not produce due to some reasons, then the doctor can go for ICSI treatment.
- Embryo Culture: In this step, the doctor monitors the fertilized eggs. The doctor makes sure that the eggs are diving and developing as required. Here the embryos can also go for testing for genetic conditions at this time.
- Transfer: After the proper development, the embryos can be implanted. The implantation normally occurs after three to five days of fertilization. In the process of implantation, a thin tube called a catheter is inserted into the vagina, past the cervix, and into the uterus. Then the doctor will release the embryo into the uterus.
A woman will get pregnant only when the embryo will implant itself into the uterine wall. A time span of six to ten days is taken for this process. A blood test will be conducted to decide if a woman is pregnant or not.
Risks Associated with IVF
The first successfully conducted In Vitro Fertilization was in 1978. From the last four decades, more than seven billion babies have been born using this technique. So, by this figure, we can say that it is one of the safest and successful techniques of fertilization. Although there are still some problems associated with IVF. The main complications associated with IVF are:
- Multiple Pregnancies: There can be a problem of multiple pregnancies which can increase the risk of low birth weight. Also, the problem of the problem of premature birth can arise.
- Ectopic Pregnancy: In this case, the eggs can implant outside the uterus.
- OHSS: It is a rare condition called ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome. It involves an excess of fluid in the abdomen and chest.
- Miscarriage: Sometimes due to various issues the woman can even lose the pregnancy.
- Ovarian Cancer: Some earlier studies suggested there is a connection between certain medications that were used to stimulate egg growth and the growth of a specific type of ovarian tumor. However, recent studies do not support these conclusions.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Success Rate
The success rate of IVF treatment depends on age. For example, women who are more than 35 years old have a 40.7 % success rate and it is only 3.9 % for women who are more than 42 years old. Apart from this the success rate also depends on other factors like reproductive history, the cause of infertility, and lifestyle factors.
Now, IVF is considered as one of the most successful infertility treatments. However, if someone experiences any of the risks mentioned above, they should consult their doctor. One should do all the research about the best infertility doctor and clinic before going for IVF from website like elawoman.com, who offer you the complete knowledge.