What You Should Know About IVF
In vitro fertilization ( IVF) is a type of fertilization that manually combines an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. After that, the embryo is transferred into a lady’s uterus. This process is also called IVF. In vitro fertilization is used mainly to treat infertility on ladies who have a blocked or a damaged fallopian tube, a male who have decreased sperm count, women with ovulation disorders, women whose fallopian tubes have been removed, or couples with unexplained infertility.
The in vitro fertilization procedure is comprised of five fundamental steps:
- Stage 1
Stage one involves the prescription of fertility medications. These drugs are aimed at stimulating egg production. Production of multiple eggs is necessary because some eggs do not develop or fertilize after retrieval. A procedure referred to as transvaginal ultrasound is used to check the ovaries. A blood test is done to examine a lady’s hormone level.
- Stage 2
During this step, the eggs are retrieved using a surgical method. The procedure uses ultrasound imaging to guide a hollow needle through the pelvic cavity to obtain the eggs. Drugs are frequently used to manage possible discomfort.
- Stage 3
The male partner is requested to produce sample sperms. These sperms are prepared for combining with the lady’s egg.
- Stage 4
This stage involves insemination. The egg and sperm are joined and stored in a laboratory so as to facilitate fertilization. In cases where there are negligible chances of fertilization, an intracytoplasmic sperm injection procedure is used. This method involves the injection of a single sperm directly into the egg to achieve fertilization. The eggs are closely monitored to ensure that fertilization and cell division are taking place. Once it is clear that fertilization has occurred, the fertilized eggs are now considered to be embryos.
- Stage 5
This phase involves the transfer of an embryo into the woman’s uterus. This is done three to five days after the egg retrieval and fertilization. A catheter is inserted into the uterus so as to transfer the embryos. The procedure is painless to most women although some undergo mild cramping. If the procedure is successfully done, the implantation occurs from six to 10 days after the egg retrieval process.
After the procedure, a woman may pass small amounts of fluid that are blood tinged. Other side effects that may be experienced after the procedure include mild bloating, breast tenderness and constipation. However, if you experience pelvic pain, heavy vaginal bleeding, blood in the urine and fever, it is recommended that you call your doctor immediately.
As with most of the medical, procedures, in vitro fertilization can be risky. Although it happens in rare cases, fertility medications can result in ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). The symptoms of OHSS include abdominal pain, and a person may feel bloated. Other symptoms of OHSS are nausea, vomiting, decreased urinary frequency, shortness of breath, faintness, severe stomach pains and weight gain.
It is vital for a person considering this procedure to note that the fertility treatment increases the chances of experiencing multiple pregnancies. Low birth weight and premature delivery are also other risks associated with the treatment.
The cost of undergoing in vitro fertilization is high, and most insurance plans do not provide coverage for the fertility treatment.
The success rate of this fertilization method depends on numerous factors such as reproductive history, the cause of infertility, maternal age and lifestyle factors. Individuals considering this approach should understand that the pregnancy rates of in vitro fertilization are not similar to live birth rates.
It is important to ask the doctor at the fertility clinic critical questions regarding the cost and details of the fertility program before commencing the fertility treatment. Couples should first explore other options before thinking about IVF.