Infertility is a problem that many couples face and there are different ways to handle it. If the couple does not succeed in conception even after a year of unprotected sex, treatments for infertility are considered. In vitro fertilisation involves a complex series of procedures that can be used in the treatment of fertility or assist with the conception of a child.
How does IVF take place?
Mature eggs are collected from the ovaries and fertilized by the sperms in a lab. The fertilized eggs or embryo is then implanted in the uterus. Just a single cycle of IVF would take about 2 weeks. In vitro fertilization is by far the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology. Also, it is preferred because the procedure can be performed using the sperms and eggs of the couple. However, it might sometimes involve the sperms, eggs or embryo of an anonymous donor. The help of a gestational carrier might be needed in some cases.
The chances of having a healthy baby using IVF might depend on a lot of factors, like the cause of infertility and the age. IVF can even be expensive, time-consuming and an invasive procedure. Generally, more than a single embryo is implanted, which can result in multiple pregnancies. The doctor can help understand how IVF would work and what are the risk factors involved.
Why is IVF required to achieve fertility?
IVF is performed to treat infertility. It is generally preferred for infertility in women above 40 years of age. It can even be performed if certain health conditions exist. It becomes an option in the following cases:
Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes - It becomes difficult for the egg to be fertilized and the embryo to travel to the uterus if the fallopian tube is blocked or damaged.
Premature ovarian failure - Some women lose the normal ovarian function before the age of 40. Normal amounts of the estrogen hormones or eggs are not released if the ovaries fail.
Ovulation disorders - Fewer eggs are available for fertilization if ovulation is infrequent or absent.
Endometriosis - Endometriosis takes place when the uterine tissues implant and grow outside the uterus. The functions of the uterus, ovaries and the fallopian tubes are affected.
Uterine fibroids - The fibroids are benign tumours that can be found in the walls of the uterus. They can interfere with the implantation of the fertilized egg.
Tubal sterilization or removal - If there had been a tubal ligation earlier, IVF could be an alternative to the reversal of tubal ligation.
Genetic disorder - If there is a genetic disorder that can be passed down to the child, you would be candidates for preimplantation genetic diagnosis, which involves IVF. The eggs would be harvested and fertilised and screened for genetic problems. The embryos that pass the test would be transferred to the uterus.
Impaired sperm function - Weak movement of sperms, a low sperm concentration and abnormalities in size and shape would make it difficult to fertilize the egg. There might be the need to visit a specialist in cases of semen abnormalities.
Unexplained infertility - In such cases, no cause of infertility can be found despite rigorous evaluation.
In vitro fertilization could be a good approach if you find yourself to be a suitable candidate. You would need to talk to the doctor and start discussions without taking too much time.