These days, the number of couples who are facing problems in achieving pregnancy is increasing at an alarming rate. There can be several of factors affecting the fertility of both men and women. In some cases, infertility can be treated with some medications only and in some cases, it requires special treatment methods such as IVF. In past few years, IVF technology has emerged as an innovation helping an infertile couple to achieve a successful and healthy pregnancy. IVF is attempted in the cases where other treatment methods fail to improve the fertility.
What does IVF mean?
IVF is In Vitro Fertilization which is assisted reproductive technology which involves the fertilization of an egg with the sperm outside the body in the laboratory. In this process eggs are removed from the ovaries of woman and sperms are taken from the men. Then these are kept in some liquid in laboratory letting the sperm to fertilize the egg. This fertilized egg is then transferred to women’s uterus to achieve the pregnancy.
Why is IVF done?
IVF is used to treat infertility if any other treatment options fail to do so. It can be used if following health conditions are diagnosed:
- Blocked or damaged fallopian tube.
- Ovulation disorders in women.
- Women whose fallopian tubes have been removed.
- Women having a premature ovarian failure.
- Women who had uterine fibroids.
- Males having impaired production of sperm or poor quality and functioning of sperms.
- Unexplained infertility.
- Any genetic disorder.
- Failure of other treatment methods.
Basic steps involved in IVF treatment: IVF is an artificial insemination of egg in the uterus which involves the following steps:
Stimulation of the egg: Ovaries are stimulated to produce the follicles. This can be done with the help of certain fertility medications.
Egg Retrieval: With the help of a transvaginal technique called as a transvaginal oocyte, retrieval of eggs is done from the patient. The needle is pierced into the vaginal wall which reaches the ovaries and required follicles are retrieved from the mature follicles. This procedure is done by giving anaesthesia to the patient to avoid the discomfort.
Sperm production: Sperms are taken from the male partner and semen is prepared for the fertilization of the egg.
Fertilization and embryo development: The process of fertilization is then done by mixing sperms and eggs together in a culture media. The egg is allowed to fertilize by the sperm in the laboratory for some specific period of time. This is also termed as incubation. In some cases where the sperm count is low, the sperm is directly injected into the egg with the help of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). These are placed in an incubator and left for incubation to develop a healthy embryo.
Embryo transfer and implantation: This is the final step of IVF where embryo transfer is done. The best and healthy embryo is selected to transfer into the uterus. With the help of thin plastic catheter, the embryo is then transferred to the uterus of women through vagina and cervix. To increase the success rates of pregnancy several numbers of embryos may be transferred.Once the process is completed the patient is advised to have bed rest for around 24 hours.
Luteal phase: This is time period between the embryo transfer and the pregnancy test. It is important to maintain good health during this period. Some women may experience nausea, cramping, tiredness and other such symptoms due to the progesterone medication. After 14 days of embryo transfer, the pregnancy test will be carried out.
Pregnancy test: Pregnancy blood test is carried out after 14 days of embryo transfer. In this case, taking a blood test is the most reliable one as pregnancy test kits can provide negative results due to the medications which are used in IVF treatment. Once the test comes out to be positive patient is advised to go for ultrasound scans at around 6 weeks.
This is how IVF treatment is giving opportunities to infertile parents to convert their dreams into reality. It is not necessary that every woman will get pregnant after IVF treatment. The results can be positive or negative after an IVF procedure. A couple should be mentally and physically prepared before going for an IVF treatment as exceptions are always there. No doubt IVF treatment has been proved to be an innovation but there are always some pros and some cons associated with such treatments.Leave a reply →