Modern fertilization technologies have proven to be a
blessing for many couples. Many couples who faced difficulty in fertilization
today have children due to these advanced assisted reproductive technologies.
Among them the IVF (in vitro fertilization) is a popular method wherein the
fertility treatment involves the combination of the eggs with the sperm in the
laboratory i.e., outside the body. Once the fertilization takes place the
fertilized egg is placed in the female uterus. This method involves numerous
complex procedures and thus is done at specialized fertility centres by
expertise in this filed.
In fertility treatments, IVF is the most popular and
successful one. This article gives details on the IVF technology, its procedure, and its
results in detail here.
What is IVF?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an advanced fertility
treatment recommended for infertile couples. IVF procedure
is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) in which an egg and sperm are
fertilized in the outer environment. This advanced process involves retrieving
eggs from ovaries. Then, they are manually combined with the sperm in a
laboratory for fertilization. After several days of fertilization, the
fertilized egg is placed inside a uterus. The fertilized egg is now known as an
embryo. When the embryo itself implants on the uterine wall, the pregnancy
Why is IVF performed?
IVF procedure (in vitro fertilization) is considered the
best option for fertility treatments if you or your partner has:
Ovulation disorders â€“ If ovulation is absent or infrequent,
fewer eggs will be available for fertilization.
Blockage or damage to the fallopian tubes: This problem makes
it difficult for an egg to be fertilised or for an embryo to travel to the
Uterine fibroid: A benign tumour that grows in the uterus.
Fibroids can affect the implantation process.
Endometriosis â€“ It occurs when tissue similar to the uterus
lining grows outside of the uterus and often affects the function of the
uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.
One of the parents is at risk for a descending genetic
Gestation carrier â€“ A woman's egg is fertilized with her
partner's sperm, but the resulting embryos are placed in the uterus of a
How is IVF performed?
In IVF technology, as a first step, fertility medicines or estrogen
are advised for several months to produce multiple eggs for fertilization. This
procedure is called ovulation induction. Now, mature eggs are used in the
fertilization procedure. You may be advised to go for regular blood tests, and
ultrasounds to measure your hormone levels and track your egg production.
Once you produce enough mature eggs, your doctor will remove
the eggs from your body, which is called "egg retrieval," a minor
surgery. By introducing a thin, hollow tube via the vagina, the ovaries will be
sucked from each follicle. You will be sedated during the process.
Now your eggs are mixed with the sperm cells of your donor
or partner, which is called insemination. The sperm and eggs are stored
together in a sterile container to make fertilization happen. Sperm with lower
motility will be directly injected into the eggs to trigger fertilization.
After egg retrieval, embryos are kept in your uterus, which
is called embryo transfer. Using a thin tube, the doctor places the embryo
directly into the uterus. When any embryo starts attaching to the uterine wall,
your pregnancy starts. This embryo transfer is performed at a fertility clinic
or operation theatre and you will not feel any pain during the procedure.
How common is IVF?
Nearly 5% of couples with fertility issues try out this
advanced IVF technology. It is reported that over 8 million babies have been
born from IVF procedures since 1978. This is the most effective assisted
reproductive technology available all over the world.
What can you expect after IVF treatment?
After embryo transfer, you can expect some of the following
- Mild abdominal cramping, bloating
- Blood spotting
- Breast tenderness due to high estrogen levels
Many women return to regular activities after egg retrieval.
After having anaesthesia, you should not drive for 24 hours. Around 9â€“14 days
after the embryo transfer, you should be back at the clinic for a blood test
The success rate of IVF
The success rate of IVF technology depends on many factors
such as age, partner or donor's age, and fertility causes. Many lifestyle
factors, like obesity, alcohol, smoking, and certain medications, play an
important role. Before starting IVF treatment, you should discuss with your
doctor about your own chances of pregnancy.
Pregnancy is more likely if you are under the age of 35. By
the age of 45, the chances will be 1 in 100. So, as you get older, your
pregnancy chances decrease.
As part of IVF technology, most fertility clinics use embryo
cryopreservation. Some people insist on this procedure to hold back another
chance of getting pregnant. These extras can be stored in frozen condition for
Infertility issues can lead couples into depression and
emotional breakdown. IVF thus is an hope in such scenario. But the procedures
involved in IVF are complex and requires the couples to be emotionally and
physical strong and stable. It is found that during many IVF treatment many
couples have struggled from depression, anxiety and emotional breakdown. In
some cases, the feeling of disappointment leads to emotional breakdown. It is
highly essential to stay positive and thus it is recommended to speak about
your feelings with the health care provider throughout the process.