Last Updated on March 5, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is one of the popularly known types of Assisted Reproductive Technology(ART) which is a combination of some surgical procedures and medications to help sperm fertilize an egg.
Other forms of ART are namely Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer(GIFT) and Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer(ZIFT)
The technology is used when the natural way of fertilization of the egg does not happen in a women’s uterus. This starts with doctors prescribed medicines that help make the eggs mature and ready for fertilization.
During the medication phase, you might have to go through a series of ultrasounds and blood tests to make sure the hormone levels are within the range and everything is going just fine in there. After several months of medication, the fertilized eggs are then taken out of the body and mixed with sperm in a special container in a lab, the process of mixing of eggs with the sperm is called ‘Insemination’.
After the fertilization happens which will be thoroughly monitored by the doctors, the fertilized eggs are then put back into the uterus. For pregnancy to happen, the fertilized eggs needs to attach itself to the lining of the uterus. The doctor will then advise you to rest for the rest of the day however, you can get back to your normal work a day later.
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Pros of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
If the natural way of reproduction is somehow not working, this is the proven and safe method which in itself is a gift of technology and medical science. Moreover, there are some advantages of IVF that might not be achieved otherwise
1. Solves the Problem of Blocked Fallopian Tubes
IVF is proved to be very effective and probably the only option for women whose fallopian tube is damaged or blocked. They can have their children using their own eggs with IVF.
2. Addresses Male infertility
If the male partner is facing the problem of infertility, there is a high chance of getting pregnant with IVF than naturally.
3. Unknown Infertility
Out of ten couples, almost two of them are likely to face the problem of infertility with unknown reasons. IVF is proved to be very effective with couples facing infertility problem that is undiagnosed.
4. Effective for Women with PCOS
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrom is a problem among women in reproductive age caused by genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors. Women with PCOS have high chances of not getting pregnant the natural way. IVF could be a better option for them.
Cons of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
The entire process of In Vitro Fertilization can be very emotional and the whole family could feel tremendous pressure regarding the health of the mother and the future child.
The doctor should be completely aware of your physical and emotional state throughout the process so it is highly recommended to be absolutely honest in sharing everything that you feel during the process. Both the partners should be present during every consultation/visits to the doctor.
Like any other medical procedure, IVF also comes with certain side effects, the most common and obvious being the erratic emotional state of the partners. However, this is a very safe, easy and medically proven way of reproduction.
After the embryos(fertilized eggs) are transferred to the uterus, women might go through some of the side effects
1. Side Effects(Normal)
- Breast Tenderness
- Mild Cramping and Bloating
- Abdominal Pain
2. Side Effects (Call your doctor immediately)
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Blood in urine
- High fever
- Mild to severe pelvic pain
Success Rate of IVF
Whether or not an IVF ends successfully depends upon a number of factors that include your lifestyle factors(any of the partners), maternal age, reproductive history etc. Those who go for IVF should be clear that getting pregnant is not considered a successful IVF procedure. Only if the pregnancy ends with a live birth, the IVF is considered a success. In the recent past, the live birth rate of each IVF cycle is seen to be
- Less than 20% – Maternity Age: 40+
- 23% to 27% – Maternity Age: 38-40
- 33% to 36% – Maternity Age: 35-37
- 40% to 43% – Maternity Age: 35 or less