When is it Right for me to go for an IVF?
- As per standard medical guidelines, one would need an IVF treatment in case of an unexplained failure to conceive in a normal way even after two years of consistent unprotected sexual intercourse
- A failure to conceive can be due to fertility problems in both women and men alike
- A need for a conception through IVF is decided only after a meticulous fertility evaluation of the couple and failure on their part to respond to the available medications and treatment options for infertility
- A professional fertility clinic shall always recommend the couple go for a fertility evaluation, look for simpler treatment options before embarking on a medical recommendation for an in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment plan.
In women, infertility could be due to
- Block in fallopian tubes, through which the mature egg from the ovaries move to the uterus
- Fallopian tube blocks can occur due to uterine infection especially through the sexual route; infection due to an abortion, a ruptured appendix or past abdominal surgery
- A complete absence of ovulation known as anovulation
- Irregular ovulation known as oligoovulation
- Endometriosis, a medical condition, where, unnecessary and abnormal tissue growth occurs at the external part of the uterus
- Unable to have normal sexual intercourse due to pain during coitus
In men, infertility can be due to
- A complete absence of sperms in the semen, a condition called azoospermia
- A low sperm count, known as oligospermia
- Unusual and abnormal shapes of sperms known as teratozoospermia
- Complications related to the inadequate motility (movement) of sperms known as asthenozoospermia
- Complete absence of motility of the live sperms, known as necrozoospermia
- Snags pertaining to the delivery of sperms into the vagina during normal sexual intercourse due to obstruction, vasectomy in the past or retrograde ejaculation
- Erectile dysfunction
- Premature ejaculation
- Presence of varicocele, a varicose vein in the scrotum that causes low sperm count and impaired sperm movement.
Thus, IVF is usually the last option for couples
- Who had failed to conceive normally even after regular unprotected sexual intercourse for more than two years
- Have had a fertility evaluation done and failed to respond to the available fertility treatments for the problems diagnosed after evaluation
It is hence, right and prudent to go for an IVF at a point of time when, all other treatment options including
- Fertility medications
- Intrauterine insemination, a procedure that involves transfer of specially washed semen directly into the uterus
- Surgical procedures including laparoscopic surgery, surgical hysteroscopy, vasectomy reversal and tubal ligation reversal prove futile.
Further, age does matter in the realm of fertility and conception.
- Your IVF treatment options after evaluation is obviously determined by your age especially, when, you are in 30s and moreover, beyond 35.
- Age to a great extent determines the pregnancy rate (the number of confirmed pregnancies) and the number of live births, called the live birth rate in IVF procedures.
- Evans, J.; Hannan, N. J.; Edgell, T. A.; Vollenhoven, B. J.; Lutjen, P. J.; Osianlis, T.; Salamonsen, L. A.; Rombauts, L. J. F. (2014). “Fresh versus frozen embryo transfer: backing clinical decisions with scientific and clinical evidence”. Human Reproduction Update. 20 (6): 808–821.
- Farquhar C, Rishworth JR, Brown J, Nelen WL, Marjoribanks J (2015). “Assisted reproductive technology: an overview of Cochrane Reviews”. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 7: CD010537.
- Hansen M, Kurinczuk JJ, Milne E, de Klerk N, Bower C (2013). “Assisted reproductive technology and birth defects: a systematic review and meta-analysis”. Hum. Reprod. Update. 19 (4): 330–53.
- Nice.org Fertility: Assessment and Treatment for People with Fertility Problems. London: RCOG Press. 2004.