In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a series of procedures used to overcome a range of fertility issues and assist with the conception of child. This technique was first successfully utilised in year 1978 in which the eggs from women’s ovaries were stimulated using fertility drug to produce mature eggs. The eggs were then fertilised in the laboratory with the partner sperm or donor sperm. The resulting embryos were cultured for 3 to 4 days and then best 1 or 2 embryos are then transferred to the female uterus for further growth and development. IVF is the most commonly used high tech fertility treatment accounting for 99 percent of assisted reproductive technology (ART).
IVF is required if you have problems in getting pregnant. The scientific data states that around one in six or one in seven couple have difficulty in conceiving. Several issues can result in not getting pregnant like female with endometriosis, missing or delayed menses, age of women, PCOD (Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease), blocked fallopian tubes, bad quality of egg produced during ovulation and not to forget STRESS which is modern day gift from this world. Not getting pregnant can also be because of your partner having problems with sperm count or sperm motility. IVF can also be an option if the doctor is not able to find out the underlying problem. This is called unexplained infertility.
One cycle of IVF takes about four to six weeks to get completed. The procedures involved in IVF are ovary stimulation, follicle development, trigger shot, gathering of eggs, fertilisation, developing embryo and lastly successful implantation. Once the embryos are implanted, one can take pregnancy test after two weeks.
The outcome of IVF depends on each couples reason for infertility and their age. Younger women usually have healthier and more eggs and hence the higher success rate. Also, the chance of success percentage drops as the number of unsuccessful IVF cycles increases. The percentage of IVF cycles resulting in live birth is about:
- 40 % for women age 34 and under
- 31 % for women age 35 to 37
- 21 % for women age 38 to 40
- 11 % for women age 41 to 42
- 5 % for women age 43 and over
Every procedure in day to day life has its pros and cons. Some of the advantages of IVF are that there are no medical problems directly linked with this procedure. Progress in embryo cryopreservation has resulted in pregnancy rates that are almost same for fresh and frozen embryos.
IVF doesn’t always result in pregnancy. It can financially, physically and emotionally drain out person. At such time support from counsellors, friends and relatives can help you and your partner through ups and downs of treatment. Since more than one embryo is placed in uterus during implantation, there are chances of twin birth or more. Though for many it is blessings but at times it may result into miscarriage or preterm birth. Babies born preterm have low birth weight.
Despite the above mentioned risks, many couples throughout the world prefer to have their child through IVF.
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Radha K. Iyer is a contributing writer on Treatum Blog. When she is not writing, she can be found reading health and food blogs or experimenting with her culinary skills.
Disclaimer: The entire content of this article is for information purpose only and is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information. It is not a substitute for professional care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem and disease.