What is IVF?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a type of reproductive assistive technology (ART). The IVF procedure involves removing an egg from a female ovary and artificially fertilizing it with male sperm. The fertilized egg is known as the embryo. It is transferred to the female womb. The complete cycle of IVF procedures takes about 3 weeks. In some cases, the procedure is split into different steps, which can take longer.
IVF is usually done to aid fertilization. Depending on your condition, IVF procedures may use:
- Donor egg and donor sperm
- Donor egg and sperm of your partner
- Your egg and donor sperm
- Your egg and your partner’s sperm
- Donated embryo
How is IVF performed?
The IVF procedure is a five-step process:
- Egg collection
- Embryo culture
- Embryo transfer
Women lay one egg each month. However, the IVF procedure requires multiple eggs. It helps to increase the chances of an egg fertilizing with sperm. If in vitro fertilization is selected, the doctor will give fertility drugs to increase egg production by the ovaries. During this period, doctors will perform regular ultrasound and blood tests to monitor egg production. This helps doctors understand when to collect eggs for in vitro fertilization.
Follicle aspiration, also known as egg collection, is a surgical procedure performed under anesthesia. The doctor will insert the device through your vagina and into the ovaries with a needle. The needle is guided inside the hair follicle that contains the egg. The doctor collects the egg and fluid from each follicle.
Take a semen sample from a male partner or donor. The egg and sperm are mixed and fertilized.
Your doctor will monitor the fertilized egg to make sure it develops properly. At this time, certain tests may be done to check for hereditary disorders.
Embryos can be transferred to the uterus when they are large enough. This is usually done 4-5 days after fertilization. Doctors use a thin tube called a catheter to insert the embryo into the uterus. Pregnancy occurs when the embryo is transplanted into the uterine wall. This usually takes about a week after the transplant. Your doctor will check your pregnancy with a blood test.
Why is in vitro fertilization done?
IVF procedures are performed to treat infertility and genetic conditions. If you and your partner choose IVF, you can try less invasive treatment options before trying IVF.
Less invasive treatment options include fertility drugs that increase sperm production in women or endometrial insemination, where sperm are placed directly in the womb during ovulation.
In some cases, women over the age of 40 choose IVF procedures to treat infertility. IVF can also be used in certain health conditions that make it difficult for a child to become pregnant. IVF is usually performed when you or your partner suffers from the following conditions:
Ovulation is absent or rare in such disorders. Pregnancy is difficult because few eggs are available for fertilization.
- Obstruction or damage to the fallopian tubes..
Occlusion or damage to the fallopian tubes can make it difficult to fertilize an egg or move an embryo to the uterus.
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that occur in the uterus. Tumors are common in women over the age of 30. Uterine fibroids can prevent the embryo from implanting on the uterine wall.
This happens when the uterine tissue begins to grow outside the uterus. Endometriosis can affect the function of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus.
- Impaired sperm production or function..
Low sperm mobility, below-average sperm concentration, or abnormal sperm size and shape can make fertilization difficult.
If either you or your partner are at risk of passing the genetic disorder to the embryo, you can perform IVF procedures. After fertilization of the egg and sperm, the embryo is screened for possible hereditary disease. However, not all hereditary disorders can be detected during the screening process. If no possible disorder is found, the embryo is transferred to the uterus.
- Previous fallopian tube removal or sterilization..
If you have previously had surgery to remove or occlude both fallopian tubes, you can perform IVF procedures to bypass the function of the fallopian tubes.
In some cases, doctors may not be able to find an explainable cause of infertility. In such cases, IVF procedures can help.
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms and want to get your child pregnant, see your doctor.
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What are the risks associated with IVF?
Like other medical procedures, IVF has certain risks associated with it. These include:
In some cases, multiple embryos are transplanted into the uterus. Pregnancy with multiple embryos increases the risk of low birth weight and early labor.
In about 2% to 5% of cases of in vitro fertilization, women experience an ectopic pregnancy. This is the condition in which the embryo is transplanted outside the uterus, mainly into the fallopian tubes. It is difficult for the embryo to survive outside the womb.
Some studies suggest that there may be a link between drugs used to stimulate spawning and ovarian tumors.
IVF procedure results
Approximately two weeks after the embryo is transplanted into the uterus, the doctor will do a blood test to confirm the pregnancy.
If you become pregnant, your doctor will refer you to a pregnancy specialist for prenatal care.
If you are not pregnant, your period may begin within a week. If you do not have menstruation and have abnormal bleeding, contact your doctor immediately. If you want to try the IVF procedure again, your doctor will suggest a procedure to increase your chances of a second pregnancy.
The decision to receive IVF treatment can be a complex decision. The physical, emotional, and financial sacrifices of the procedure can be exhausted. Before deciding to go in vitro fertilization, discuss in detail with your doctor about all the options available to get your child pregnant. Considering factors such as your age and health, your doctor may be able to determine the best option for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Is IVF painful?
The doctor administers painkillers during egg collection, so you will not feel any pain. You may experience mild discomfort and pain after surgery. It can usually be treated with over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen.
2. What is the optimal age for in vitro fertilization?
IVF is usually more successful in women in their twenties or early thirties. When women reach their mid-thirties, IVF success rates begin to decline.
3. Is the in vitro fertilized baby normal?
In vitro fertilized babies are born perfectly normally. Most of the studies to date have shown that infants develop normally in children pregnant by in vitro fertilization. The main risk factor for infant developmental problems is due to preterm birth, which is more common in multiple pregnancies (such as twins).
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