In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is a procedure that involves the conception of a child outside the womb. The doctor takes the egg, and the sperm and fertilization happen in an IVF laboratory under optimum conditions. Once fertilization occurs, the embryo gets transferred to the womb.
When the embryo implants to the uterine wall, pregnancy occurs. IVF is the safest and most beneficial form of assisted reproductive technology. The egg and sperm can be of the parents, or one can opt for donor eggs and sperm.
Why is IVF performed?
People may opt for IVF for several reasons, including Infertility issues, the mother's advanced age, or certain health conditions. Same-sex partners can also choose IVF.
Who qualifies for IVF?
People may choose IVF if they or their partner have
- Fallopian tubes removed
- Reduced fertility owing to age
- Complications in the uterus
- Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or other ovarian conditions
- Infertility that cannot be explained
- Uterine fibroids
- Genetic disorders
- Low or abnormal sperm count
What are the stages of IVF?
Induction of ovulation
Here synthetic hormones are used to induce the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. Fertility specialists need multiple eggs because all eggs might not develop normally after fertilization.
The gestational carrier may have to take progesterone supplementation to prepare the uterus lining. The fertility specialist might also give injections to stimulate follicles and prevent premature ovulation. This stage also includes a vaginal ultrasound to check the ovaries and the development of follicles and a blood examination to check how the body is responding to the ovarian stimulation medicines.
Retrieval of egg
After the final injection of the ovulation induction process, the doctor performs egg retrieval through transvaginal ultrasound aspiration. However, patients don't need to worry or get anxious as they are sedated and provided pain medication.
The ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina to fetch the eggs from the follicles. After this, the eggs are situated in a culture medium and incubated. Healthy and mature eggs are mixed with sperm to create embryos. All eggs may not successfully fertilize, which is why multiple eggs are removed.
Retrieval of sperm
Retrieval of sperm usually occurs through masturbation or testicular aspiration. At times, viable sperm of donors can be used. Sperm get separated from the semen in the laboratory.
Fertilization of egg and sperm
A single healthy sperm is inserted into each mature egg in the intracytoplasmic sperm injection. The traditional way is conventional insemination. In that process, healthy spermatozoa and mature eggs are mixed, incubated, and kept overnight. Assisted hatching is also another technique of fertilization.
Transfer of embryo into the womb
It happens after 2-5 days of retrieval of the egg. The doctor first sedates the patient and gives them pain medication. The embryo is then implanted into the uterus through the vagina. After this stage, if the IVF is successful, the embryo will embed in the womb after six to ten days of egg retrieval.
After 2 weeks of egg retrieval, the fertility specialist will take a blood sample to test for pregnancy. In case of a positive pregnancy test, the doctor will refer an obstetrician for prenatal care. If the IVF recipient is not pregnant, they need to stop taking the progesterone and will get their periods in a week. You can consult your fertility specialist for another round of IVF in case the first one fails.
Benefits of IVF
- When fertility treatment fails, IVF is a viable option
- Couples can decide the time of their baby's arrival
- IVF offers Increased chances of conception
- IVF can help you have a healthy baby
- Single women can have a child through IVF
- IVF is more successful than other assisted reproductive technologies
- Safe track record
- IVF helps diagnose problems related to fertility
- Unused embryos can be donated or used for research
- IVF might also help in screening for inherited diseases.
General Complications of IVF
- Multiple pregnancies
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Complications in the bladder or bowels
- Increased discharges from the vagina
- Low birth weight or premature babies
If you feel like you want to know more about IVF, then you can request an appointment at Apollo Fertility, Anna Nagar, for a consultation by calling 1860-500-4424
Yes. There are no limits to how many IVF cycles you can do. However, every person is different. But if IVF has failed multiple times, one should consult a specialist.
For women under 35 years of age, the success rate for IVF is 55%.
The recommended space between two IVF is one complete menstrual cycle. Doctors advise not to do a fresh IVF round two months in a row without a menstrual cycle in between them.
It is the day the embryo gets transferred to the uterus of the mother. On Day 3, the embryo is the same size as the unfertilized egg. At Day 5, if the embryo gets transferred, the chances of live birth are high. Some embryos develop slowly. For those embryos, the transfer can happen on Day 7.
All three - eggs, sperm, and embryos get stored in environmentally-controlled chambers in hospitals, laboratories, or commercial reproductive centers.