What Causes of Infertility Can IVF Treat?
When it comes to infertility, IVF may be an option if you or your partner have been diagnosed with:
Low sperm counts
Problems with the uterus or fallopian tubes
Problems with ovulation
Antibody problems that harm sperm or eggs
The inability of sperm to penetrate or survive in the cervical mucus
An unexplained fertility problem
IVF is a form of assisted reproductive technology (ART). This means special medical techniques are used to help a woman become pregnant. It is most often tried when other, fertility techniques have failed.
There are five basic steps to IVF:
Stimulation, also called super ovulation
Medicines, called fertility drugs, are given to the woman to boost egg production. Normally, a woman produces one or two egg per month. Fertility drugs tell the ovaries to produce several eggs.During this step, the woman will have regular transvaginal ultrasounds to examine the ovaries and blood tests to check hormone levels.
follicular aspiration is done to remove the eggs from the woman’s body. During the egg retrieval, woman will be given anaesthesia so she does not feel pain during the procedure. Using ultrasound images as a guide, the health care provider inserts a thin needle through the vagina and into the ovary and sacs (follicles) containing the eggs. The needle is connected to a suction device, which pulls the eggs and fluid out of each follicle, one at a time. The procedure is repeated for the other ovary. There may be some cramping after the procedure, but it will go away within a day. In rare cases, a pelvic laparoscopy may be needed to remove the eggs. If a woman does not or cannot produce any eggs, donated eggs may be used.
Insemination and Fertilization
The man's sperm is placed together with the best quality eggs. The mixing of the sperm and egg is called insemination. Eggs and sperm are then stored in an environmentally controlled chamber. The sperm most often enters (fertilizes) an egg a few hours after insemination.
When the fertilized egg divides, it becomes an embryo. Laboratory staff will regularly check the embryo to make sure it is growing properly. Within about 5 days, a normal embryo has several cells that are actively dividing.
Embryos are placed into the woman's womb 3 - 5 days after egg retrieval and fertilization. IVF Specialist inserts a thin tube (catheter) containing the embryos into the woman's vagina, through the cervix, and up into the womb. If an embryo sticks to (implants) in the lining of the womb and grows, pregnancy results. More than one embryo may be placed into the womb at the same time, which can lead to twins, triplets, or more. The exact number of embryos transferred is a complex issue that depends on many factors, especially the woman's age.
Unused embryos may be frozen and implanted or donated at a later date.
Chances of success
The success rate of IVF depends on the age of the woman undergoing treatment, as well as the cause of the infertility (if it's known). Younger women are more likely to have a successful pregnancy. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding alcohol, smoking and caffeine during treatment may improve your chances of having a baby with IVF.
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