What is IVF In Vitro Fertilization and how is it done?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the various treatments available to aid people who are having difficulty having a baby.
During IVF, an egg is extracted from the woman’s ovaries and fertilized in a laboratory using sperm.
The fertilized egg, known as an embryo, is subsequently returned to the woman’s womb to develop and thrive.
It can be done using your eggs and your partner’s sperm, or with donor eggs and sperm.
What occurs during IVF?
IVF has six major stages:
- Inhibiting your natural cycle – medication is used to suppress your menstrual cycle
- Assisting your ovaries in producing more eggs – medication is used to urge your ovaries to create more than one egg at a time.
- Monitoring your progress and developing your eggs – an ultrasound scan is performed to examine the development of the eggs, and medication is administered to assist them in maturing.
- To extract the eggs, a needle is pushed via your vagina and into your ovaries.
- Fertilization of the eggs – For a few days, the eggs are combined with the sperm to allow them to be fertilized.
- Implantation of the embryo(s) – 1 or 2 fertilized eggs (embryos) are implanted in your womb.
After the embryo(s) have been implanted in your womb, you must wait two weeks before having a pregnancy test to check if the treatment was successful.
The success rate of IVF is affected by the woman’s age as well as the cause of infertility (if it is known). Younger women have a better chance of having a successful pregnancy. IVF is often not suggested for women beyond the age of 42 due to the low likelihood of a successful pregnancy.
In 2019, the following percentage of IVF procedures resulted in a live birth:
32% for women under the age of 35
25% for women between the ages of 35 and 37
19% for women aged 38 to 39 years
11% for women between the ages of 40 and 42
5% for women between the ages of 43 and 44
4% for women over the age of 44
The Dangers of IVF
IVF may not always result in pregnancy and can be physically and emotionally taxing. Counseling should be provided to you to assist you with the process.
There are also some health hazards connected, such as:
Hot flushes and headaches are common adverse effects of the medications used during therapy.
Multiple births (twins or triplets) can be hazardous to both the mother and the children.
An ectopic pregnancy – is a pregnancy in which the embryo implants in the fallopian tubes rather than the womb
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) occurs when the ovaries overreact to IVF medications. Your doctor can explain how IVF works, the dangers involved, and if this way of treating infertility is suitable for you.