IVF is one of the most important infertility treatments. Check out below all you need to know about IVF Treatment.
What is IVF?
IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) is the fertilisation carried out outside your body by combining your egg with sperm in vitro (“in glass”). It is used to treat infertility problems. The retrieved eggs are fertilised by sperm in laboratory and the embryo is implanted in your uterus. An IVF cycle goes for about two weeks.
Requirements of IVF
IVF can treat the following causes of infertility:
Premature ovarian failure: Failure of normal functioning of your ovaries before 40 may cause less oestrogen production and failure to release eggs regularly.
Blockage or damage of fallopian tube: It hampers your egg’s fertilisation or embryo’s passage to uterus.
Previous tubal ligation: Tubal ligation is a sterilization process involving cutting or blocking of fallopian tubes for permanent prevention of pregnancy. So if you want to conceive after it, IVF is your only solution.
Disorders in ovulation: Absent or infrequent ovulation causes lesser availability of eggs for fertilisation.
Disabled sperm function or production: Poor mobility or below-average concentration of sperm or defects in its shape or size can hamper fertilisation of egg.
Genetic disorder: If your child is at risk of being passed any genetic disorder by you or your partner, you might require Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis which involves IVF. After your eggs are fertilised, they are screened to detect genetic disorders (if any) and accordingly transferred to your uterus.
Uterine fibroids: These are non-cancerous tumours on the uterine wall that commonly grow in women in their 30s or 40s. These intervene with the implantation of fertilized egg.
Endometriosis: It happens when your uterine tissue gets implanted and grows outside your uterus, generally in your fallopian tubes or ovaries, affecting their functioning.
Fertility preservation for health conditions: You might need IVF for fertility preservation if you’re going to have treatment for cancer (or other health problems) that could affect your fertility. Your harvested eggs can be frozen for future use.
Dysfunctional uterus: If you have dysfunctional uterus or health risks in pregnancy, you might have IVF allowing a gestational carrier to carry the pregnancy.
Infertility with unknown cause: Unexplained infertility occurs due to unknown cause of your infertility.
Success rates of IVF depend on maternal age, reproductive history, infertility factor, etc. The global average for live birth IVF success rate is 40% for women under 35.
You may face the following main risks in certain steps of an IVF cycle:
Miscarriage: Using frozen embryos can moderately higher risks of miscarriage.
Multiple births probability: It happens due to implantation of multiple embryos in your uterus.
Complications in Egg retrieval: Bleeding and injury to your blood vessels, bladder or bowel may happen while collecting eggs with aspirating needles.
Low birth weight or Premature delivery: IVF carries risks of early labor or low birth weight of your baby.
Ectopic pregnancy: It happens when the fertilised egg gets implanted outside your uterine wall, generally in a fallopian tube, and fails to survive.
OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome): OHSS causes painful swelling of ovaries on injecting fertility drugs like HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) for inducing ovulation.
You and your partner might require the following pre-treatment screenings:
Analysis of semen: It will be conducted before starting IVF, if not already done in your initial fertility evaluation.
Ovarian reserve testing: The concentration of oestradiol (oestrogen), FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and antimullerian hormone in your blood might be tested in your initial menstrual phase. This helps predict the response of your ovaries to fertility medications.
Screening of infectious diseases: It involves screening of infectious diseases like HIV.
Uterine cavity examination: It might be conducted before beginning IVF, using sonohysterography or hysteroscopy.
Mock embryo transfer: Your uterine cavity depth is analysed to successfully transfer the embryos to uterus.
Ovulation Induction: It uses synthetic hormones for stimulating your ovaries to produce multiple eggs to ensure fertilisation.
Egg Retrieval: Passing a very thin needle through your upper vaginal wall, vaginal ultrasound is conducted to remove fluid from your follicles using gentle suction.
Sperm Retrieval: A sperm sample from your partner or a doner is secured.
Fertilization: The egg and sperm are put in an incubator and monitored for developing a healthy embryo.
Embryo Transfer: After placing a speculum in your vagina, the embryo(s) is/are carefully transferred through a small plastic tube placed inside your uterine cavity through the cervix.
After completing an IVF session, bedrest of about 1 day is recommended before resuming daily activities. You may have the following typical side-effects:
Leaking some clear or bloody fluid shortly after treatment
Tenderness of breast
After about two weeks of egg retrieval, your blood sample will be tested to detect your pregnancy.