Ivf Technology Procedure and Success Rates

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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, 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 is thus done at specialized fertility centers by experts in this field. 

In terms of 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 occurs.

Why is IVF performed?

The IVF procedure (in vitro fertilization) is considered the best option for fertility treatments if you or your partner have:

  • Ovulation disorders: 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 fertilized or for an embryo to travel to the uterus.
  • Uterine fibroid: A benign tumour that grows in the uterus. Fibroids can affect the implantation process.
  • Endometriosis: It occurs when tissue similar to the uterus's 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 disorder.
  • Gestation carrier: A woman's egg is fertilized with her partner's sperm, but the resulting embryos are placed in the uterus of a gestation carrier.


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 operating room, and you will not feel any pain during the procedure.



How common is IVF?

Nearly 5 percent 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 symptoms:
  1. Mild abdominal cramping, bloating
  2. Constipation
  3. Blood spotting
  4. Breast tenderness due to high estrogen levels
Many women return to regular activities after egg retrieval. After having anesthesia, you should not drive for 24 hours. Around 9–14 days after the embryo transfer, you should be back at the clinic for a blood test for pregnancy.

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 your chances of becoming pregnant.

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 many years. 



Takeaway: 

Infertility issues can lead couples into depression and emotional breakdown. IVF thus offers hope in such a scenario. But the procedures involved in IVF are complex and require the couples to be emotionally and physically 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 an emotional breakdown. It is highly essential to stay positive, and thus, it is recommended that you speak about your feelings with the health care provider throughout the process. 
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