IVF stands for in vitro fertilization is a type of assistive reproductive technology (ART) and is widely used in the process of artificial reproduction. In this process eggs from a woman’s ovaries retrieved to fertilize them with the sperm. These fertilized eggs are known as the embryo and the embryo can either be stored in a frozen state or transferred to a woman’s uterus.
Why IVF is performed?
IVF usually performed when someone wants a baby but due to some natural reasons which may include blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, male infertility, unexplained fertility, uterine fibroids, and reduced ovarian function. Such complications lead to infertility in woman hence they are not able to develop embryo naturally. IVF is considered to be the last option because of the costs incurred during the process. Couples often try other fertility treatments first, such as taking fertility drugs or intrauterine insemination, if they still fail then IVF is the only hope left for them.
In vitro fertilization depends upon the situations of couples so there are different types of procedure that can be used, which are as follows:
- Your eggs and donor sperm
- Your eggs and partner’s sperm
- Donor eggs and donor sperm
- Donor eggs and donor’s sperm
- Donated embryos
Process of In Vitro Fertilization
IVF is a process of five steps:
- Egg retrieval
- Embryo culture
In each menstrual cycle, a woman produces one egg however, In the process of IVF multiple eggs are required to increase the chances of developing a healthy embryo. For this, doctors prescribe some fertility drugs to increase the number of eggs and in this regular blood tests and ultrasounds will be performed by the doctor to ensure the right production of eggs and when to retrieve them.
This process is follicular aspiration and requires surgical procedure along with anesthesia. Here, the doctor will insert a needle through your vagina, into your ovary to suck eggs out of the follicle. This process is done by using an ultrasound wand so that the needle should reach the follicles.
A male partner will give a sample of his semen. He can be a donor also depending upon the situation. A technical will mix the sperm with the eggs in a Petri dish. In case, embryos won’t produce than the doctor may use ICSI.
At this stage, the eggs start developing into embryos and your doctor will monitor the fertilized eggs to ensure if they are dividing and developing correctly. The embryos may undergo some testing of genetic conditions.
This is the final step and also the crucial one. The embryos are big enough to get implanted this usually takes three to five days after fertilization. A thin tube called a urinary catheter will be inserted, into your uterus going through the vagina. Your doctor will release the embryos into your uterus and when the embryo implants itself in the uterine wall then it can be said that woman is pregnant. It takes six to ten days, but a blood test will determine the accurate results.
Advantages of an IVF treatment
Following are the advantages of IVF:
- Anybody can use this procedure.
IVF can be performed by a woman who wants to become a mother irrespective of her complications, such as gestational carriers. A varied range of people can use this treatment and can become parents.
- Decreases chances of miscarriage
Miscarriages usually happen due to the genetic abnormality, which causes complications to terminate natural pregnancy. PGD helps to determine the genetic viability of an embryo and mothers can enjoy a healthy pregnancy.
- Blocked tube
Women with blocked fallopian tubes can take huge advantage of IVF of having a child using their own fertilized eggs.
Side-effects of an IVF treatment
Following are side effects of IVF:
* Nausea, fatigue, headache, acne;
* Increased or reduced appetite;
* Fluid retention;
* Breast pain;
* Abdominal pain, menstrual bleeding/spotting;
* Weight gain, upset stomach;
* General body aches, mood swings, depression, and hot lashes.