In Vitro Fertilization can be a scary undertaking for many couples, but with the information below, I hope it becomes a little less daunting. In Vitro Fertilization has helped thousands of couples across the world have successful pregnancies, when they may not otherwise have. I hope this information will help you in your IVF journey!
Who Needs IVF
There are many types of fertility treatments available, and IVF is usually one of the last options on the list, usually reserved for women who suffer from blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, or men who suffer from sperm infertility. There are many other reasons couples may choose IVF treatment, and one of the larger demographics of those seeking IVF are older women with age-related infertility. While this may be successful for some women, age has proven to be a significant determining factor in the success of IVF, with women over 40 experiencing sharp declines in success rates of IVF.
While there are many factors that contribute to the success or failure of In Vitro Fertilization, studies have shown that the overall average success rate is around 30%. These studies show time and again that the biggest factor in determining the success of IVF is the age of the woman. In 2003, 37% of the cycles begun to women under 35 resulted in live births, with only an 11% success rate for women between the ages of 41 and 42. Some studies have indicated that babies born through IVF are more likely to have low birth weights and major birth defects, even though the overall chance of that happening is low. Despite this, there is no denying the joy IVF has brought to hundreds of thousands of people who may have never had a chance without IVF.
The IVF Process
Before and during the IVF process, your fertility specialist will be monitoring your ovaries and the timing of the egg release, to ensure your ovaries are producing eggs and your hormone levels are normal. You may be asked to take fertility medicines or hormones to stimulate the ovaries to produce the eggs. The more eggs you can produce, the higher the chance you will get pregnant.
After this, you will move on to the egg retrieval stage. You will be given pain medication to relieve any discomfort, then a tiny needle will be passed through the upper vaginal wall to remove fluid from the follicles. Immediately after aspiration of the follicle, the egg is isolated and placed in a culture dish containing nutrient rich media, where it will be transferred to an incubator.
Next is the fertilization stage. A sperm sample will be gathered and the most active sperm is mixed with the egg in a special chamber, where it will be monitored to make sure that a healthy embryo develops.
The final step is the embryo transfer. First, the embryos are examined to determine the healthiest ones for transfer. To transfer, a speculum is placed into your vagina and the embryos are transferred via a small plastic tube placed through the cervix into the uterine cavity. After this stage, bed rest is often prescribed for around 24 hours.
For more detailed information on the IVF process, this Phoenix IVF clinic has a terrific guide to In Vitro Fertilization.
As you can see, there is a lot that goes into In Vitro Fertilization, but I believe the best advice anyone could give you is to be persistent in your journey. I hope this information has helped anyone seeking information on IVF!