Fertilization which occurs outside the body is termed as In-vitro fertilization or IVF. Here, the egg and sperm cells are fused with external influence under clinically monitored conditions. Steps in the process involve stimulation of ovum (female egg) extracted from womb and allowing the sperm to fertilize the egg in a controlled liquid environment under laboratory conditions. The fertilized egg is subjected to embryogenesis for a maximum period of six days followed by implantation into the uterus. The intention of IVF is to establish a successful pregnancy.
Basis of IVF
Infertility has been the source of distress for women who are incapable of conceiving naturally. Technological advances bring a ray of hope for such women and couples who seek children. IVF is a form of assisted reproductive technique (ART) which has successfully helped countless couples. Infertility is suspected in women who are unable to conceive after a year of unprotected vaginal intercourse or in those who don’t use birth control. Inability to successfully conceive is attributed to damages in the fallopian tubes among other plausible medical conditions. Infertility could also hint at the man’s low sperm count.
Of the many solutions which promise pregnancy despite infertility, IVF offers high chances. Use of IVF is limited to the cause of infertility. Apart from IVF, other treatments like surgery to remove blockages caused by endometriosis could be attempted before undergoing IVF treatment. IVF is sought when a blockage in the woman’s fallopian tube is detected or when the man suffers from low sperm count. IVF is ineffective in women who lack the ability to ovulate or in men who fail to produce a healthy sperm count.
IVF has a high success rate under the following conditions
IVF is used successfully to treat infertility in the following cases wherein the cause is linked to:
- Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes in women
- Women who suffer from uterine fibroids, premature ovarian failure and other ovulation disorders
- A few genetic disorders
- Men suffering from male factor infertility including lack of sperm motility or low count
- Women with excised fallopian tubes
- Unexplained infertility
Success rates of IVF greatly vary between clinics and physicians. An implantation does not guarantee positive pregnancy. In many cases, the procedure is repeated till the desired result is achieved. In the last decade, the success rate of IVF has increased to 27 %. In a few unfortunate cases, implantation of the zygote can be in the region outside the uterus (ectopic pregnancy) or there may be spontaneous termination. Another unexpected result of IVF is multiple pregnancies.
Common side effects of IVF
As with any artificial insemination process, a few symptoms are associated with IVF. These include mild bloating and cramping, tenderness in the breast, constipation and vaginal secretion of clear or blood-tinged fluid.
Symptoms which are uncommon and need immediate medical attention are heavy bleeding from the vagina, fever, blood detection in urine and excruciating pelvic pain.
Women who undergo IVF treatment are first prepped with fertility treatments. Common side effects of fertility medication are mood swings, headaches, hot flashes, pain in the abdomen and bloating.
Consult a fertility expert to increase your chances of conception.
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