Invitro Fertilisation (IVF)


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Invitro Fertilisation (IVF)

If you are a couple trying to conceive a child without much success, you must have come across the term - in vitro fertilisation or IVF. It involves a biologically complex series of procedures that can be used to address the problems that obstruct the conception of a child. In simple words, the process involves collecting mature eggs from the ovaries and fertilising them with the sperms of the father and then implanting them in the uterus of the expecting mother or a surrogate. A cycle of IVF would take about 2 weeks in general.

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Why is IVF so popular?

In vitro fertilisation is known to be the most effective form of all the assisted reproductive technologies used today. The best thing about the process is that it can be performed with your eggs and the sperms of your partner. If there is a problem with the quality of the eggs or sperms, a donor can even be considered. If there is a problem with the uterus, a gestational carrier can be the answer. The chances of a healthy baby through IVF depends on certain factors, however. This includes the cause of infertility and the age of the expecting mother.

What are the cases in which IVF is considered?

If there is a problem with the fertility of the couple, IVF can offer a solution. However, before attempting IVF, you should consider other options that are less invasive. These include the usage of fertility drugs that increase egg production or intrauterine insemination. The following are the cases when IVF should be considered:

  • Ovulation disorders - Fewer eggs are available for fertilisation if the ovulation is infrequent or absent.
  • Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes - If the fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged, it might be difficult for the egg to be fertilized or the embryo to travel to the uterus.
  • Endometriosis – The condition when the uterine tissue implants and grows outside the uterus is known as endometriosis. It affects the function of the uterus, the ovaries, and the fallopian tubes.
  • Premature ovarian failure - When the normal ovarian function is lost before 40, it is known as premature ovarian failure. If the ovaries fail, normal amounts of the oestrogen hormone would not be produced and neither would there be regular release of eggs.
  • Uterine fibroids - Fibroids are benign tumours that are commonly found in the walls of the uterus in women ageing between 30 and 50. They interfere with the implantation of the fertilized egg.
  • Unexplained infertility - No known cause of infertility has been discovered despite proper evaluation.

How do you need to prepare for IVF?

The success of the process would depend on factors that involve the age of the patient and the medical issues. You would need to go through a few screening tests before the procedures commence.

  • Ovarian reserve testing - The doctor might test the concentration of oestrogen, follicle-stimulating hormone and anti-mullerian hormone in the blood. An ultrasound of the ovaries might also be done.
  • Infectious disease screening - The couple is screened for infectious diseases, like HIV.
  • Semen analysis - If it hasn't already been done during the initial fertility evaluation, it would be one of the screening tests.U
  • terine cavity exam - The doctor would examine the uterine cavity before the process starts.

The procedure is quite complicated and there can be a lot of other guidelines to follow. Your doctor would be able to tell you more about your particular case.

Authored by Dr. Radhika Meka

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