The most precious gift from God to any couple is a baby, but due to some accidental circumstances, there are many couples, who are made to face the harsh reality of losing their baby even before they are born. Here, the most blessed gift of science discovered by doctors is – In Vitro Fertilization, which is commonly known as the IVF Treatment.
What is In Vitro Fertility Treatment?
This is the actual process, which is very commonly known as ‘Test – Tube Baby’ technique. Developed more than 30 years back, this In Vitro Treatment is for those women who have damaged fallopian tube. When the eggs formed in the ovaries fail to travel through the fallopian tube, then your medical practitioner may suggest you this process of getting pregnant.
What Is the Procedure Involved?
In this treatment procedure, 2-3 eggs from the ovaries are collected and fertilized with the sperms, either from the partner or a donor in a laboratory dish i.e. In-Vitro. It is then observed in an incubator for 3-5 days and the best of the several embryos is collected to be transferred to the uterus through the vagina where the implantation occurs and thus the pregnancy begins from there. A very successful answer to infertility treatments; this IVF is a complex process involving 4 steps to pregnancy.
What Are the 4 Steps?
- Step 1: Ovulation Monitoring: At the very beginning of the process, the fertility specialist will start with the monitoring of your egg formation. A course of hormonal treatment will be performed to get the best of eggs produced and also to prepare the body for the pregnancy. Fertility medicines are also common in this stage to enhance the production of eggs, thus increasing the chances of getting pregnant. If one cannot produce eggs, then that couple may also consult with the specialist for egg donors in IVF treatment.
- Step 2: Egg Collection: During this stage of the IVF procedure, a very thin needle is injected in the upper vaginal wall, and with the use of vaginal ultrasound, the fluid is separated from the follicle gently. Immediately after the oocyte is separated from the follicular fluid, it is then placed in a culture dish to be transferred to the incubator.
- Step 3: Fertilization of the Egg: In the next step of in vitro fertilization, a sperm sample is collected either from the partner or a donor, and the most active sperm is taken to be fused with the egg in a special chamber. Just after, it the sperm and the egg that are observed in an incubator to monitor the formation of a healthy embryo.
- Step 4: Embryo Implantation: The last step in the IVF process is the implantation of the embryo into the uterus. The healthiest of the embryos is selected to be transferred to the uterus. To perform this transfer, a speculum is placed into the vagina and the embryo is transferred through a small plastic tube placed through the cervix to the uterine cavity. A rest for 24 hours is required, in most cases, after the completion of this process of IVF treatment.
After a few weeks of undergoing this In Vitro Fertility Treatment, most women find a pregnancy test positive. There may be cases of negative results where pregnancy doesn’t happen; for them, a detailed discussion on the success rate in particular age group would be helpful.
What Are the Determinants of the Success of Such Treatments?
Studies show that age is a factor that affects the chances of becoming pregnant through this IVF treatment. It has also been observed through studies that success rate also depends on the use of fresh or frozen embryo. It is very much evident that age does affect the chances of getting pregnant. Women in their early ages are likely to get positive results during a test, while it is less in percentage for women in higher age group. Secondly, the transfer of fresh embryos using donor eggs yield positive pregnancy than frozen embryo transfers using donor eggs. The pregnancy success rate for women of higher age is possible with donor eggs. A woman with a previous pregnancy history has higher chances to get positive results with IVF treatment procedure.
What Are the Advantages of the Treatment?
The best reward from the treatment is a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. IVF helps couples to attain the happiness of parenthood which they would have remained unattained otherwise. Advantages of IVF process are mentioned below:
- Fallopian Tube disorders: Those women, with problems in their fallopian tube, can also become pregnant through embryo transplantation from their own eggs, which is possible through this IVF process.
- Older Couples: Women in a higher age group can also get pregnant, which is a boon of this IVF treatment.
- Patients with Low Ovarian Reserve: Women with low capacity of uterus can be benefitted from In vitro fertilization as well.
- Patients Suffering from Male Infertility: There are also higher chances of conceiving with IVF treatment for couples that are facing male infertility problems.
- Undiagnosed Infertility: Sometimes, the reason behind infertility remains undiagnosed, and in such cases, IVF is of great help.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: IVF can help immensely in case of polycystic syndrome and get the patient pregnant after successful treatment.
- Premature ovarian failure: Patients with early menopause can also get pregnant by donor eggs through IVF.
What Are the Risks Associated?
Alike all other medical treatments, IVF also has risks, though very less in number and severity like Multiple Pregnancies, in which, multiple embryos are transferred back to the uterus. Multiple pregnancies are associated with other health risks like low birth weight, premature labour, miscarriage, need for c-section, still birth and other infant health problems.
What Could Be the Cost of the Treatment?
India is considered for medical tourism, and when it is the question of In vitro fertilization treatments, India has less costly infertility centres that are also doing it at affordable prices. For this reason, many people from abroad travel to India to undergo an IVF procedure. Whatever may be the IVF cost, the reward of the treatment, the ‘Baby,’ is priceless for the couples undergoing it.