A few years ago, IVF was a mystery to everybody. Most people were skeptical about it as it wasn’t a popular term. These babies were referred to as “test-tube babies.” But as time passed, more and more people understood what IVF is and it started to gain acceptance. IVF stands for In Vitro Fertilization and many couples have adopted this method to conceive babies. IVF involves fusing the egg and the sperm outside the body in a laboratory. This method is used to help with fertility and conception of a child.
In IVF, the eggs are collected from the ovaries. These eggs are then fused with sperms so that fertilization can occur. After the fertilized egg or eggs i.e. the embryo has matured, it is then transferred into the uterus. This technique is expensive, time-taking and invasive. Parents need to be very patient throughout the process. IVF is an effective way of reproduction. The eggs and sperms can either be yours and your partner’s or some donor can also be involved. IVF can also result in multiple pregnancies i.e. more than one fetus is available because chances are that more than one embryo is transferred into the uterus.
IVF is done in cases of infertility or genetic problems. This method is also taken up in the following cases too: fallopian tube damage, ovulation disorder, low sperm count, a problem with the uterus, endometriosis (a disorder in which the that grows inside the uterus grows outside the uterus where it doesn’t belong), unexplained infertility or genetic disorder. IVF is usually taken up after other methods such as fertility drugs or surgery haven’t worked effectively.
The results are seen after 12-14 days and your doctor calls you in to test whether you are pregnant or not. If you are pregnant then you move ahead and consult an obstetrician. In cases of no pregnancy, you are advised to stop taking the medicines and chances are that you will get your periods in a week or so. The possibilities of getting pregnant and giving birth to a healthy baby depend on factors such as maternal age, causes of infertility and lifestyle factors.
Side effects of the treatment include cramping, bloating, breast tenderness, constipation, headaches, restlessness, mood swings, and abdominal pain. Risks involved in IVF treatment are multiple pregnancies, birth defects, miscarriage (chances increase with age), premature delivery or the baby is born with a low weight. Egg retrieval also carries risks such as bleeding, infections, and damage to other organs. IVF treatment is expensive as it is a slow process that is carried out in several stages.
IVF doesn’t give you a full guarantee of pregnancy. The success rate of getting pregnant reduces with age. Younger women under 35 have a higher success rate of 40 percent with IVF treatment. The reason why this technique can fail is due to the quality of the embryo. After the embryo is transferred into the uterus, the embryo might not be able to attach itself to the uterus because of some defects. Age is also a key factor in the failure of IVF. As the woman grows old, the quality of eggs deteriorates and the quantity reduces.
Any couple who chooses this method of conception needs to be fully sure and well-researched. Having trouble or difficulties with pregnancy doesn’t mean that you will straight away jump to this treatment. There are other options too and if those treatments fail then you can move ahead and consider IVF. An IVF treatment is a long and expensive road and you need to be sure when you choose this for you and your partner.