Becoming a mother is a shared dream among many women, however ranging personal, professional or medical reasons can complicate falling pregnant. Fortunately, for those unable to conceive naturally, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) has become one of the leading assisted human reproduction treatments.
Scientific advances and modern medical expertise have developed in vitro fertilisation into one of the most effective reproductive treatments with success rates approaching 60 per cent. Should you want to find out more about IVF and see if it’s the right approach for you, please don’t hesitate to book a free consultation at the IFER and take that first step towards parenthood.
What is in vitro fertilisation?
In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is among several treatments available to help people with fertility problems have a baby. IVR consists of removing an egg from the ovaries before later fertilisation using sperm in a laboratory. Upon insemination, the embryo is then returned to the woman’s uterus to develop.
In vitro fertilisation requires eggs and sperm, and if necessary, either or both can be donated.
Who is in vitro fertilisation for?
IVF is an assisted human reproduction treatment which solves a wide range of fertility issues. Among the most common are:
- Obstruction or lesions to the fallopian tubes: Such ?? can affect fertility due to close proximity to where fertilisation occurs naturally. However, tubal ligation can also be reversed in certain cases.
- Endometriosis: although not dangerous, the disorder is often the cause of several cases of sterility as affects the quality of ovaries and tubes. It consists of growth outside the uterus of endometrial tissue.
- Low ovarian reserve: The determining factor of such disorder is age as while the female reproductive system can produce fewer eggs at a result of various causes, there is a proportional relationship between older age and fewer ovaries.
IVF is recommended when alternative procedures of greater simplicity, such as artificial insemination, have failed, in addition to diagnosed abnormalities such as low sperm count or hereditary genetic disorders.
Including assumptions such as abnormality in your partner’s semen production or hereditary genetic disorders. You can also choose IVF before or after cancer treatment that could have an impact on your fertility. The assisted human reproduction procedure is also an alternative for fertility affected by cancer treatments.
In vitro fertilisation steps
The duration of a complete IVF treatment is around four to five weeks and is referred to as a cycle. Throughout this process, the clinic will require regular visitation in addition to prior stages and testing:
1. Ovarian stimulation
To increase the probability of successful fertilisation, several eggs are inseminated during the initial stages of IVF. A bespoke hormonal treatment is administered according to your physical condition.
A self-injectable dosage will be distributed to the patient for the course of 10 days at home in keeping with regular timings to escalate production. Vaginal ultrasound and blood tests later follow in order to check the development of follicles.
There is no need to be concerned if the desired results are not achieved in the first stimulation cycles as sometimes an adjustment to medication is required in order to necessary ovulation levels.
2. Follicular puncture
Vaginal ultrasound will exhibit if follicles are the ideal size (19/21 mm) and if it’s time to schudle the extraction. After the final injection, medical intervention takes place inside 34-36 hours, and taking into account its an outpatient admission, sedation and analgesia is required to avoid any potential discomfort. Such treatment takes around 15 minutes and after you are free to go home although pressure or cramps are expected in the following hours. In this second phase, sperm is also taken and tested.
3. Embryo cultures and in vitro fertilisation
It’s at this stage fertilisation is then carried out by one of two techniques: traditional IVF or intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). The aforementioned consists of the egg and a large amount of sperm placed on a culture dish, with the latter of the two interested directly into the egg.
Embryo development requires just a few days of monitoring before selecting the best candidate to implant.
4. Embryo transfer
The following procedure is both quick and painless – to the point analgesia is not even required! A catheter is inserted into your vagina and places the embryos inside the uterus. Depending patient conditions, rest or medication may be recommended after.
5. Post-Embryo Transfer Process
After waiting about 12-14 days, a pregnancy test is to be taken in order to reveal if pregnancy has been achieved or not.
How many cycles can be carried out?
It’s clear that when you undergo fertility treatment you expect results from the inception of any medical process. You’ve waited long enough and it’s entirely logical to anxious to begin parenthood. However, it is best to be prepared for whatever outcome as each case is bespoke, can take various amounts of time or even require further cycles.
Three cycles without positive results is within a normal range, while studies suggest the chances of pregnancy increase the longer the delay. Experts have also placed greater emphasis on the ‘cumulative rate’ which, after the fourth IVF cycle, effectiveness can rise by about 40% after the first attempt. Not accounting for any particular medical exceptions, the maximum cycles recommended is four even if failure to fall pregnant beyond that is not to be considered definitive.
If difficulties falling pregnant persist, considering other forms of treatment is also recommended as in vitro fertilisation is by no means the only procedure which can be administered. However, the sooner medical professionals are consulted, the higher the chances are of understanding and then addressing the issue.