IN-VITRO FERTILIZATION (IVF) JOURNEY

  1. Medical Fertility Tests: Before undergoing IVF, it is important to conduct various tests to assess the individual’s reproductive health. These tests may include genotype testing, semen analysis, blood group testing, hepatitis B & C, VDRL, hormone levels (LH, FSH, prolactin, progesterone, estrogen), viral infections (HIV), and other relevant factors.
  2. * Ovarian Stimulation: To stimulate the ovaries, injections and medications are administered for a period of about two weeks. The aim is to encourage the production of healthy and quality eggs while preparing the uterus for conception.
  3. Trigger Injection: A trigger injection is given at the precise time to trigger the release of mature eggs from the ovaries.
  4. Egg Retrieval and Semen Collection: Under anesthesia, the mature eggs are retrieved from the ovaries, and the partner’s sperm is collected for fertilization.
  5. Luteal Phase: Following egg retrieval, the follicle develops into the corpus luteum, which secretes progesterone and estrogen, preparing the uterine lining for potential implantation.
  6. Fertilization and Embryo Development: In the embryology laboratory, the retrieved eggs are fertilized with the collected sperm, and the resulting embryos are monitored for development.
  7. Embryo Transfer: The developed embryos are transferred into the uterus, aiming for successful implantation.
  8. Pregnancy Test: After a waiting period of approximately two weeks, a pregnancy test is conducted to determine if the IVF procedure was successful. The test measures the levels of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in the bloodstream. Higher levels indicate a positive pregnancy result, while lower levels indicate a negative result.
 SUCCESS RATE

The success rate of In-Vitro-Fertilization (IVF) can vary depending on several factors including the age of the woman, the cause of infertility, the clinic’s expertise and the specific techniques used. 

Advantages of IVF Procedure

In-Vitro-Fertilization (IVF) is a widely used assisted reproductive technology that offers several advantages for individuals or couples facing infertility or certain medical conditions. 

Here are some of the key advantages of the IVF procedure:

* Increased Chance of Pregnancy: IVF can significantly increase the chances of conception for individuals or couples who have been struggling with infertility or have been unsuccessful with other fertility treatments.

* Treatment for Various Fertility Issues: IVF can be used to address a wide range of fertility issues, including ovulation disorders, tubal blockages, endometriosis, and male factor infertility, providing a potential solution for diverse fertility challenges.

* Genetic Testing and Screening: IVF allows for preimplantation genetic testing (PGT), which involves screening embryos for genetic disorders before they are transferred to the uterus. This can help reduce the risk of passing on certain genetic conditions to the child.

* Controlled Ovarian Stimulation: During IVF, controlled ovarian stimulation is used to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. This allows for the collection of several eggs in one cycle, increasing the number of embryos available for transfer or freezing.

* Embryo Selection: With multiple embryos obtained through IVF, the healthcare team can evaluate their quality and choose the healthiest embryos for transfer. This selection process enhances the chances of a successful pregnancy.

* Sperm Quality Improvement: In cases of male factor infertility, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can be used during IVF to directly inject a single sperm into an egg, improving the chances of fertilization.

* Fertility Preservation: IVF provides an option for individuals or couples who want to preserve their fertility for future family-building. This is particularly valuable for those facing cancer treatments that may affect fertility or for women concerned about age-related fertility decline.

* Single Embryo Transfer: IVF allows for single embryo transfer (SET), which reduces the risk of multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets) and associated complications.

* Surrogacy Possibility: IVF can be used in conjunction with gestational surrogacy, where the embryo is transferred to a gestational carrier’s uterus, providing an option for individuals or couples unable to carry a pregnancy.

* Family Building for Same-Sex Couples: IVF enables same-sex couples to have biological children using their own gametes or donor gametes.

While IVF offers many advantages, it’s essential to consider the potential risks and costs associated with the procedure. It may not be suitable for everyone, and each case requires a personalized assessment by a qualified fertility specialist to determine the most appropriate treatment plan.

Disadvantages of IVF include:

Multiple Fetuses: Transferring more than one embryo to the uterus increases the risk of multiple births. Pregnancies with multiple fetuses carry a higher risk of early labor and low birth weight compared to pregnancies with a single fetus.

Overstimulation of Hormones: In some cases, the use of hormonal injections to stimulate the ovaries can lead to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS occurs when fluid accumulates in the body as a result of the ovaries becoming swollen. However, it’s important to note that not all women experience this, as it depends on individual body functioning and how they react to the injections or drugs during the IVF procedure.

Insufficient Equipment in IVF Hospital: It is important for IVF clinics to have adequate and appropriate equipment to ensure the success and safety of the procedure.

Inexperienced Specialists: The expertise and experience of the medical professionals performing the IVF procedure are crucial. It’s important to seek treatment from experienced and qualified specialists.

Effects of IVF Procedure:

The effects of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) can vary depending on individual circumstances, the specific protocols used, and the response of the body to the fertility medications and procedures. Here are some of the common effects and potential outcomes of the IVF procedure:

 a. Physical Effects:

* Side Effects of Medications: The fertility medications used to stimulate the ovaries can cause side effects such as bloating, abdominal discomfort, headaches, mood swings, and breast tenderness.

* Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS): In some cases, the ovaries may respond excessively to the medications, leading to OHSS, which can cause abdominal pain, bloating, and fluid retention. Severe cases of OHSS may require medical intervention and monitoring.

b. Emotional and Psychological Effects:

* Stress and Anxiety: The IVF process can be emotionally challenging, and many individuals or couples experience heightened stress and anxiety during the treatment, especially during waiting periods and uncertainty.

* Hope and Disappointment: The emotional roller coaster of IVF includes hope for a successful pregnancy during the treatment cycles, but there can also be disappointment and sadness if the cycles are not successful.

c. Potential Outcomes:

* Successful Pregnancy: One of the desired outcomes of IVF is a successful pregnancy, leading to the birth of a healthy baby. IVF has helped many couples achieve their dream of becoming parents.

* Multiple Pregnancies: IVF may result in the development of multiple embryos, which can lead to multiple pregnancies (e.g., twins or triplets). While some couples may desire twins, multiple pregnancies can carry higher risks for both the mother and the babies.

* Negative Pregnancy Test: Not all IVF cycles lead to a positive pregnancy test, and some cycles may be unsuccessful. This outcome can be emotionally challenging for individuals or couples.

d. Ethical and Moral Considerations:

* Disposition of Unused Embryos: IVF can result in the creation of more embryos than needed for a single cycle. Decisions about what to do with unused embryos can be ethically complex and emotionally challenging.

* Use of Donor Gametes: In some cases, IVF may involve the use of donor eggs, sperm, or embryos. This can raise moral and ethical considerations for individuals or couples.

It’s essential to recognize that the IVF experience is unique to each person or couple, and not everyone will have the same outcomes or effects. Many individuals or couples find support through counseling or support groups to navigate the emotional aspects of IVF. Before starting IVF, individuals or couples should have thorough discussions with their fertility specialist to understand the potential effects and outcomes and to make informed decisions about their fertility treatment

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