All you need to know about IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation)

What is IVF?
In Vitro Fertilisation or IVF is a series of medical procedures wherein matured eggs are detached from ovaries and allowed to get fertilized with sperm in a laboratory. “In Vitro” means a test tube or a laboratory culture dish, and it is here that fertilization takes place. Once the egg is fertilized, it is then inserted into the uterus via another process.

IVF Process
Let’s now understand the step wise approach to an IVF treatment:

IVF Process Chart

Who will benefit from an IVF?
Women who have fallopian tubes wither damaged or broken
If the male counterpart has issues with sperm
Women on whom fertility drugs have not been successful
Women who are not able to conceive even after trying for 2 years or more, or are aged more than 38 years

Duration of treatment?
On an average, one IVF cycle would be for about 3 to 4 weeks. Retrieval of eggs will further take about 5-6 hours of hospital day care admission. Since embryos develop in about 2-5 days, post that again a visit to clinic will be made for transfer of these embryos into uterus with a hospital stay of around 3-4 hours.

How successful is an IVF?
Since age plays a vital role in the health of eggs, it’s more likely that young women will find IVF more successful.

In her rich experience of over 12 years in the field of IVF, Dr. Shweta Goswami (Consultant – Max Hospitals) feels the success rate of IVF with respect to age can be best described as per the following matrix:

    Women with age less than 35 years : 40% or more
    Women with age between 35-38 years: 30% to 40%
    Women with age between 39-41 years: 18% to 22%
    Women with age between 42-43 years: 10% to 12%
    Women with age between 44-45 years: 5%
    Women with age more than 45 years: 2% or less

A second time (or succeeding) pregnancy via IVF is more likely as compared to first time. A healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) will be in the range 18-25, will result in higher probability of pregnancy through an IVF. If IVF doesn’t result in pregnancy even after third attempt, sadly it’s time for you to accept that IVF has failed.

Does IVF have side-effects?
There might be a few cases in which an IVF might result into certain problems:

Since multiple embryos are transferred into the uterus, it might result in twins or even more babies, which couple might feel a little troublesome to handle.
Sometimes ovaries might result in over stimulation, in which case few days at the hospital are needed to get things back on track. Minor side effects might include headache, nausea and burning flushes.

In very few cases, the pregnancy might be ectopic, wherein the embryo attaches outside the uterus

In spite of these minor side effects, high majority of couples who face problems in pregnancy go for IVF as their first resort. Counselling, along with treatment plays a very vital role in making the mother feel confident. Choosing an IVF specialist rightly is a very critical step.

Happy Parenting!

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