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In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Process

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OVERVIEW

IVF is a blessing-in-disguise for infertile couples. IVF procedure aims at helping the couple to conceive by taking the complex stages in account . Various fertility problems whether genetic or not can get treated with this procedure.

The IVF procedure involves the process of fertilizing the retrieved eggs with the specially chosen sperms. The resulting embryo will be implanted in the womb after getting observed for about 3 to 4 days.

IVF is the most effective and reliable Assisted Reproductive Technology. The primary focus of the IVF is to make you the biological parents of the test tube baby. But in case, any of the serious abnormalities are found with the eggs and sperm of the couples, then by taking other alternatives into account, you can still experience the joy of becoming parents.

WHY IVF?

IVF is a procedure that can be regarded as the most effective treatment for infertility and reproductive genetic problems.

The fertility experts do not suggest taking up the IVF procedure straightaway after the diagnosis. Rather they will only guide you to take up this treatment after you have encountered the failure from the less invasive IVF techniques:

  • The female will be prescribed some of the medications to stimulate the production of better quality eggs.
  • Intrauterine insemination will be taken into account if the evidence of sperm motility has come into the origin.
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PROBLEMS THAT INTERFERES WITH THE CONCEPTION:

  • Fallopian Tubes damage The fallopian tubes are responsible for transferring the egg to the uterus. But if there is a blockage in these tubes, the eggs can not get implanted in the uterus which will never lead you to carry the pregnancy through.
  • Endometriosis When the tissues of the uterus start getting developing outside the uterus, then the functioning of all the below-mentioned organs is affected considerably:
    • Ovaries
    • Uterus
    • Fallopian Tubes
  • Uterine fibroids When the woman is in the 30-40 years age group, then they are at risk of getting afflicted with benign tumors that may get implanted by themselves in the walls of the uterus.
  • Previous Tubal surgery Usually, it happens that the couple firstly determines not to conceive ever again in the future and they end up opting for the tubal sterilization technique. But within a few years, they suddenly felt the urge to have one more baby. So in that condition, they again go for taking up the tubal ligation reversal procedure. But the successful reversal is not possible in all the cases.
  • Sperm problems Usually, it is found out that several problems are associated with sperm production and travelling:
    • The sperms may not travel to fertilize the egg in the required direction.
    • The sperms may lack the characteristics which are responsible for the ideal fertilization of the eggs.
    • The sperm may not at all be produced and thus the ejaculated fluid cannot contribute to making the egg fertile.
  • Unexplained infertility With this, I mean that there are no visible causes for infertility problems. In that case, the doctors have to try a lot of fertility procedures, since they do not know the cause of the problem.
  • Genetic disorders Sometimes, the infertility problems are inherited. If any of your family members are suffering from infertility, then there are chances that he may pass the particular problem to the offspring. So with IVF procedures not only such problems can be cured but you can become happy parents of a healthy child.

CONSEQUENCES OF TAKING IVF TREATMENT FROM UNQUALIFIED DOCTORS

If you are relying on the non-skilled, unqualified and inexperienced doctor, then you may find yourself at the edge of the following risks:

  • Multiple Births: The unqualified and non-trained doctor can negligently transfer more than one embryo into the uterus. This is not at all good since pregnancy with multiple births can result in the following problematic conditions:
    • Early labour
    • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
  • Miscarriage: If the embryo will not be implanted by following the right procedure with precision, then there are 100% chances that the miscarriage will be encountered.
  • Ectopic pregnancy: When the egg gets implanted outside of the uterus, then the pregnancy has to be terminated with legal medical procedures.
  • Birth defects: According to scientific research, the age of the mother is responsible for the health of the baby. If the age of the mother will be more, then there are 100% chances that the birth defects will be experienced in the children.

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

Before the IVF procedure, you have to consider all the below-mentioned factors:

  • Choice of the right clinic You have to choose the right clinic for undergoing the procedure. The right clinic can only be chosen if you take the following factors into account:
    • Success Rate
    • Location
    • Costs
  • Diagnosis  Once you have chosen the right clinic, the next step is important as it will help in the diagnosis of the problem. With the help of the following tests, the cause of the infertility will be found:
    • Ovarian Reserve Testing To check whether the ovaries are releasing the best quality eggs, ovarian reserve testing is done.
    • Semen Analysis The semen analysis is important to check whether the characteristics and the count of the sperms are ideal to fertilise the eggs.
    • Embryo transfer The mock embryo transfer will be taken into account to make sure the real embryo transfer is done by keeping the exact specifications in account.
    • Uterine examination Before you commence the IVF procedure, the uterine examination will be done to have the images of your uterine cavity.

FAQS

Is only one embryo transferred in the uterus?

The number of embryos to be transferred in the uterus is based on the age of the female and the number of eggs which were retrieved. As we all know there are considerably lower chances for older women to carry the pregnancy to the end because the rate of implantation is lower in such age groups. So in those cases, the doctor may consider implanting more than one embryo.

What is done with the extra embryos?

The extra embryos can be used in the future. Till then, they are frozen.

Important information

All the embryos can’t endure and survive through the freezing and thawing process.

What can be done if you are having multiple pregnancies?

The multiple pregnancies can be tackled with fetal reduction.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE PROCEDURE?

The IVF procedure gets completed once all the below mentioned steps are taken into account:

STAGE 1: OVARIAN STIMULATION

This stage is crucial for embryo generation as it is responsible for stimulating the ovaries in the way that they produce good quality eggs. For this, the doctor may prescribe you several fertility medications.

  • Combination of the FSH and LH This combination is used when the ovaries are to be stimulated for the production of more than one egg at a time.
  • HCG To make the mature eggs gain the ideal characteristics, HCG medications are administered. After the female is administered the fertility medications, then it is to be found out whether the eggs are fit to be extracted or not. So for that, the doctor may consider the following:
    • Vaginal ultrasound
    • Blood tests

STAGE 2: EGG RETRIEVAL

Once the eggs are mature enough to be extracted for commencing the fertilization procedure, the doctor will carry out the retrieval process which will involve the following steps:

  • Step 1: Sedation Keeping in mind the invasive nature of the procedure, the doctor considers administering the patient with local or general anaesthesia depending on the medical condition.
  • Step 2: Transvaginal Ultrasound aspiration Your vagina may be inserted with a thin needle which after reaching the follicles help to retrieve the eggs.

Case in Point
If Transvaginal ultrasound cannot be successful then the abdominal ultrasound may be used.
Once the eggs are retrieved, then they are placed in the culture medium which is also known as the nutritive fluid.

STAGE 3: SPERM RETRIEVAL

Your mating partner will be called to the clinic premises to give a sample of the semen. In some of the clinics, special rooms are made for the males to masturbate. No sooner the semen sample is provided than the doctor begins with the process to separate the sperms with the good quality that may contribute to the healthy conception.

An important point to note

The doctor will always advise the males not to ejaculate 3 or 4 days before the ejaculation.

STAGE 4: FERTILIZATION

Fertilizations is a process in which the eggs are mixed with the sperms. For this two procedures are taken into account which is as follow:

  • Conventional Insemenunation  When the sperms are simply mixed with the eggs and are incubated overnight.
  • Intracytoplasmic Sperm injection In this technique, the injection of only a single healthy sperm into the egg is taken into account.

STAGE 5: EMBRYO TRANSFER

When the eggs are successfully fertilized by the sperm, then the embryo comes into existence. This embryo is observed for a determined period to weigh all the aspects. Once the doctors assert that the embryo is fit for implantation and can survive throughout the pregnancy, only then the implantation process is carried out.

Important information

The embryo is implanted along with some amount of fluid which is responsible for nourishing it.

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

There are no such hard and fast restrictions after the Embryo transfer. But still, the doctor will prohibit you from performing some of the vigorous or strenuous activities.

THE MOST AWAITED PART

Once the period of 12 days is complete, the doctor will detect whether you are pregnant by taking a sample of your blood.

  • POSITIVE: If the pregnancy results are positive, then the doctor will refer you to some reputed and qualified obstetrician or gynaecologist who will take care of and guide you throughout your prenatal period.
  • NEGATIVE: If the results are negative, then you may activate your menstrual cycle because of which you can get your period the following week. But the fertility experts of Dr. Sumita Sofat Hospital never let you get disappointed. They will consider opting up for the next cycle.

DETERMINING FACTORS FOR A HEALTHY BABY:

The factors which will determine whether the healthy baby will be born or not depend upon the following factors:

  • Maternal age : If the age of the woman is more than 40, then there are chances that the child may experience some sort of birth defects.
  • Embryo status: The developed embryos are supposed to be having the chances to give birth to a perfectly healthy baby.
  • IVF History : If you have taken up the IVF procedure many times but each attempt has resulted in a failure, then the baby may take birth with some health problems.
  • Lifestyle: The lifestyle of the women during the prenatal period matters a lot as far as the health of the baby is concerned. If the woman does not quit smoking and drinking after the procedure, then a weak baby may be born who needs to be quintessentially taken care of.