Everything You Need to Know About IVF

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What is an IVF?

IVF stands for, In vitro fertilization (IVF); it is an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) that helps in embryo development and implantation in the female body to get pregnant. IVF works with the combination of medicines and surgical procedures to help implant the eggs in the uterus and fertilize them.

IVF is completed by taking the matured eggs from the ovaries and are fertilized by the sperm in the lab outside the female’s body; this is followed by transferring these fertilized eggs back to the uterus. This complete process takes around three weeks and is known as the One Cycle of IVF. IVF can be performed by using the couple’s eggs and taking the eggs or sperm from an anonymous donor.

Gene editing science in vitro genetic CRISPR genome engineering medical biotechnology health care concept with a fertilized human egg embryo and a group of dividing cells with a fetus with 3D illustration elements.
In Vitro Fertilization

IVF is completed in multiple steps, and it can take several months to complete the entire process. In most cases, it works on the first shot only, but many people may need many rounds of the IVF cycle. However, it is the best method to increase one’s chance of pregnancy in any fertility issues. However, the crucial point is that IVF is expensive and time-consuming. Sometimes, when more than one embryo is transferred to the uterus, it can lead to more than one fetus.

When to Use an IVF Treatment?

Couples undertake IVF treatment to treat infertility and genetics problems. However, IVF is not the first step to treating infertility unless complete blockage. It is used in cases when other methods, including fertility drugs, surgery, and artificial insemination, have failed or in instances where the age of women is above 40

Furthermore, IVF can be performed in case of the below-mentioned health conditions:
  • When there is some disturbance with the ovulation process like it is absent or infrequent
  • When the cause of infertility is not determined
  • When the couple is at risk of passing a genetic disorder to the child
  • When the issues are related to sperm size, shape, movement of sperm, and the concentration of sperm

What are the Expected Results from IVF?

Women who undergo IVF treatment must take regular hormonal pills for the progesterone hormone for the next 8 to 10 weeks after the first embryo gets transferred. Progesterone is the hormone that helps attach and establish the embryo to the uterus. Women are advised to take progesterone for 8 to 12 weeks even after becoming pregnant, as low progesterone during the early weeks of pregnancy may lead to miscarriage.

After 14 days of one cycle of IVF, women are advised to get it checked by the doctor and take the pregnancy test. About 12 to 14 days after the embryo transfer, the woman will return to the clinic for a pregnancy test. The doctor will perform a blood test or perform an ultrasound at a regular interval to monitor the stage of eggs before retrieving them.

What are the risks associated with IVF?

As the first step of IVF is injecting the hormones to produce multiple eggs in the female’s body against one egg, there can be potential risks associated with the IVF treatment. Below mentioned is the complete list of side effects associated with IVF:

  • IVF increases the risks of getting pregnant with more than one fetus
  • IVF can increase the risk of premature delivery
  • Injecting hormones to induce the ovulation process can cause the women’s ovaries to become swollen; this is followed by abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • As many females who take IVF have mostly crossed their biological stage of getting pregnant. Hence the chances of miscarriage are high

Who To Consult to get an IVF Treatment?

Any GYN/OBS provides IVF treatment. A gynecologist, commonly known as the female doctor, completely understands the female reproductive system. They are specialized in treating organs such as the uterus, fallopian tubes, pelvic area, vagina, ovaries, and breasts. Furthermore, they can give sexual health advice to their patients.

Most gynecologists are also obstetricians; obstetricians are doctors skilled in providing care during pregnancy. They can offer both pre-natal care and post-natal care.

How Expensive is IVF?

IVF is an expensive treatment, and there is no such insurance coverage for IVF or any other fertility treatment.

The complete cycle of IVF includes medicines, procedures, anesthesia, ultrasounds, blood tests, lab work, and embryo storage. The total cost of IVF varies from clinic to clinic and from location to location. However, India’s average cost of one complete IVF cycle can range from 2.5 LPA to 4 LPA.

What is the Success Rate of IVF?

The success rate of IVF depends on numerous factors such as the woman’s age, health status, and many more. Women who are less than 35 years of age have higher chances of getting pregnant, and women who are above 44 years of age have a lesser chance of getting pregnant. On average, if the woman has taken IVF, there is 1 in 5 times the case of her getting pregnant. However, this is contingent on the woman’s age and biological clock. If the period of women is above 44 years, then the chance of getting pregnant is 1 out of 10 times, she takes the IVF cycle, and for a woman, it never works out.

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