In Vitro Fertilization
What is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most effective and preferred assisted reproductive technology. In this artificial fertilization technique, the eggs are retrieved from the mother’s ovaries and fertilized in a laboratory by the sperm collected from the father, and then the formed embryo or embryos are transferred to the mother’s uterus.
In vitro fertilization has been used successfully for many years to help the couples who suffer from infertility problems to safely concepts a child.
When Should You Consider In Vitro Fertilization?
IVF is used to increase pregnancy chance and help the ones suffering from infertility problems such as:
- Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes,
- Decreased sperm count or its motility,
- Women with ovulation disorder, premature ovarian failure or uterine fibroids,
- Genetic disorders,
- Unexplained infertility,
- Decreased fertility in women over 40 age,
- Metabolic disorders such as obesity.
How is In Vitro Fertilization Performed?
In general, In vitro fertilization is performed in five steps, it takes approximately about 2-3 weeks to complete this procedure:
Step 1 – Ovarian Stimulation: Normally, the women ovaries release an egg each menstrual cycle. However, we need more than a single gamete to increase the pregnancy chance. Therefore, the woman’s ovulatory process is monitored through several blood tests and ultrasound examinations, then in the right time the doctors stimulate the ovaries with drugs “stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH)”, this allows to increase the number of produced eggs.
Step 2 – Egg Collection: In this step, the doctors retrieve the matured eggs under anesthesia with the help of a needle and by using ultrasound imaging to guide it through the pelvic cavity.
Step 3 – Sperm Collection: After the first two steps, the man sperm sample is collected, in some cases, this need to be done by surgical methods.
Step 4 – Fertilization: Different procedures can be used for this process, but in general, fertilization takes place by combining the collected mature eggs and sperms in a laboratory, the eggs begin their division and transform to structures called embryos once their fertilization is completed. The docotrs will monitor this entire process to verify the occurrence of the fertilization and cell division.
Step 5 – Embryo Transfer: Usually, embryo transfer takes place 2-5 days after egg retrieval. Your doctor will use a syringe to transfer the embryo to the uterus. This procedure is usually painless.
It is generally recommended to rest and avoid any kind of activities that require efforts the first day after embryo transfer. Your doctor will order you to do some tests about 12 to 15 days after your egg collection, to determine if you are pregnant or not.
The success rate in IVF treatment generally depends on the cause of infertility and age. Young women are more likely to have a successful pregnancy. IVF is generally not recommended for women over the age of 42 because the chances of a successful pregnancy are considered to be low.
Maintaining a healthy weight during treatment, avoiding alcohol, smoking and caffeine can increase your chances of having a baby with IVF.
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