In-vitro-Fertilisation oder IVFhas become a household name these days. Itincludes a set of procedures to help conceive a child. IVF is a procedure in which eggs and sperm from both partners are collected together in a bowl in a doctor's laboratory and then embedded in the woman's uterus.
Table of contents
Why is IVF done?
IVF can be performed for the following factors:
- Low sperm count
- Problems with the fallopian tubes or uterus
- Antibodies that damage sperm or egg cells
- The inability of sperm to survive or break through cervical mucus
- Unexplained causes of fertility
- genetic disorder
- Uterus myome
- If you are about to start cancer treatment, IVF could be a viable option.
In the treatment of infertility, IVF is never considered initially unless there is a tubal blockage.It is only performed when other procedures such as surgery, fertility drugs and artificial insemination have proven unsuccessful.
Procedure of IVF
In vitro fertilization consists of several phases that are carried out in the following way:
- Drugs to increase fertilityis prescribed to increase egg production. Multiple eggs are preferred as some eggs are not fertilized after collection.
- A transvaginal ultrasound is initiated to examine the ovaries. The blood sample is taken to check hormone levels.
- A minor operation is performed to retrieve the eggs using ultrasound imaging, in which a hollow needle is passed through the pelvic cavity to retrieve the eggs. Medication is given to prevent symptoms.
- Sperm is also collected from the maleformulated to fuse with the retrieved egg.
- The retrieved eggs and sperm are fused and placed in a laboratory container to stimulate fertilization. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection can be used when the chance of fertilization is slim.
In this method, a single sperm is inserted into the retrieved egg to initiate fertilization.
- After three to five days, after collection and fertilization, the embryos are embedded in the patient's uterus.
Preparation for in vitro fertilization
DifferentScreening is performed by both partnersbefore starting the IVF cycle.
- Semen Analysis: This is done to examine the male's fertility
- Ovary reserve test: This is done to examine the standard and quantity of the woman's eggs
- Sham embryo transfer: This is used to assess the depth of the woman's uterine cavity and which method is most successful.
- Screening for infectious diseases: Screening is done to also look for diseases including HIV.
- Uterine cavity screening: This is done for IVF to determine the uterine cavity.
What factors influence IVF?
A healthy lifestyle can improve your overall health and boost fertility for both you and your partner
The likelihood of conception through in vitro fertilization depends on many factors, such as:
- Embryostatus: Not all embryos survive the development phase. More developed embryos are associated with the highest success rates than less developed embryos.
- cause of infertility: Women with severe endometriosis have a lower chance of conceiving than women with infertility of unknown causes. It is important for successful IVF that the woman has a normal supply of eggs.
- lifestyle factors: In general, women who indulge in smoking have fewer eggs and may have an increased chance of miscarriage. Smoking can reduce the success of IVF by 50%. Obesity can also reduce the chances of conception and the birth of a baby. Intake of recreational medicine, alcohol, drugs, excessive caffeine, and certain medications can prove harmful.
- reproductive history: If the woman had previously tried IVF conception unsuccessfully, she is less likely to succeed again. Women who have previously been able to reproduce also have higher odds compared to girls who never gave birth.
- age of mother: The older women get, the less likely it is that IVF will be successful. Women over the age of 41 are often advised to consider donor eggs for IVF to work successfully.
Benefits of in vitro fertilization
The main benefit is the conception of a child. IVF can be helpful in bypassing fallopian tube problems in women. In fact, IVF was originally developed for this purpose, to allow women suffering from blocked or obstructed fallopian tubes to have the opportunity to reproduce.
Confirmation of fertilization is another benefit of IVF. In some cases, the cause of infertility is unknown. This may be due to the sperm and egg not having a normal interaction, which hinders the formation of an embryo. If the egg and sperm do not interact during IVF and do not produce an embryo, failed fertilization will result. This can provide answers as to why the pregnancy was previously unattainable.
Should one cycle fail, the couple can try another cycle. The second time, ICSI can be used for fertilization. If this procedure fails again, the couple may reconsider their fertility options.
IVF combined with ICSI allows men who have had a vasectomy or who have low sperm counts to biologically father children of their own.
Embryos created through IVF can be examined for distortions or abnormalities before they are implanted in the uterus. In some cases, partners are at risk of fathering offspring with Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis.
Combining IVF with preimplantation genetic diagnosis or with comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) can minimize the likelihood of these abnormalities.
Risks and complications of IVF
The methodology of IVF involves some risks and complications, such as:
- Prematurity: IVF slightly increases the likelihood of preterm birth.
- Multiple Births: When more than a single embryo is attached, multiple births occur.
- Low birth weight: IVF also increases the likelihood of having a very low birth weight child
- Injecting fertility drugs can lead to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
- Miscarriage: The likelihood of miscarriage through IVF increases with the age of the mother. Using frozen embryos could increase the chances of miscarriage.
- Birth Defects: The older the mother, the greater the likelihood of giving birth to a child with defects, regardless of the method. However, insufficient studies have been conducted on IVF-related birth defects.
- Complications related to egg retrieval
- Ectopic Pregnancy: 2-5% of women who undergo IVF suffer from an ectopic pregnancy, where the fertilized egg is embedded outside the uterus.
- Stress: The use of IVF can prove to be very stressful.
- Ovarian Cancer: Some early research reported that there might be a link between ovarian cancer and some medications used to stimulate egg growth. However, more recent studies do not confirm this.
Side effects of IVF
Most women can resume their routine activities the next day, but slowing down for a few days is recommended. Some side effects such as the following may occur after IVF:
- breast tenderness
- A small amount of fluid may pass after IVF. This can be clear or bloody.
- Fertility drugs can also cause the following symptoms:
- stomach pain
- Light cramps
- mood swings
- hot flashes
- Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. However, this rarely happens.
It's ideal to contact your doctor if you encounter:
- pain in the pelvic area
- Fever higher than 38 degrees Celsius
- blood in the urine
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
The list below should be followed after IVF
- Avoid strenuous exercise
- Avoid heavy lifting
- Avoid sexual activity to avoid infection or complications
- Avoid baths for the first few weeks
- Avoid hot baths
- Refrain from smoking or consuming alcohol
- Check with your doctor for progesterone recommendations
- Get enough rest
IVF Success Rates
The likelihood of a successful in vitro fertilization procedure depends on various factors, such as the woman's age, the location of your procedure, and the cause of the infertility. In the United States, the odds of success can be stated as follows:
- Women over 40: 13-18%
- Women aged 38-40: 23-27%
- Women aged 35-37: 33-36%
- Women under 35: 41-43%
Cost of in vitro fertilization
In general, the cost of the IVF procedure is around $12,000. Sometimes it can cost up to $15,000 or up to $10,000. However, it is seldom below that. These numbers exclude the cost of medication.
If you want a cheaper option without sacrificing the standard,Thailand stands out as an option for medical tourism. IVF costs can be as low as $7,500 and as high as $10,000.
If you consider assisted reproductive technology, also called ART, IVF registers 99% of all related procedures.Not being able to conceive a child can be very distressing and heartbreaking. However, there are modern technologies that allow you to successfully conceive.