If you are reading this, then chances are you are planning to start a family but have not been successful on your own inspite of both you and your partner having regular intercourse without any contraceptives. Do not feel depressed as infertility is a global problem owing to the stressful lifestyles being led by men and women all across the globe. IVF treatment has become a household name and even in smaller towns and cities in Delhi, it is no longer unthinkable to go for assisted reproduction.
• In-vitro fertilization happening outside the body of a living organism in a culture dish, test-tube unlike in-vivo which takes place within the body of a living organism.
• Unlike artificial insemination where the sperm is placed in the uterus and conception happens otherwise normally, IVF involves, combining eggs and sperm outside the body in a laboratory to form the embryo. Once the embryo is formed, embryologists place it in the uterus. IVF is the best suited treatment methodology in cases where:
• The female partner has endometriosis or has problems in uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovulation.
• The male par tner suffers from low sperm counts or sperm is unable to penetrate or survive in the cervical mucus.
• The cause of infertility is idiopathic. i.e. it cannot be diagnosed in the normal course with routine tests and procedures.
The most important thing to remember is that infertility is a challenge for the medical fraternity worldwide and new techniques are being evolved in order to address this challenge. Do not feel guilty that your food habits, lifestyle has a role to play in it as it will kick-start depression and take you to a downward spiral. Infertility can also be due to a genetic or hereditary problem.
What Is IVF
The most complex thing a man has ever studied is itself his own body. God's most beautiful creation and the most difficult to understand too. Though man has tried to understand ourselves as well and have created various miracles. One of those miracles is IVF which is short from of In-Vitro Fertilization. This technique is like a reason to live happily for those couples which are facing problem in the process of reproduction. This technique makes sure that their home can also hear the beautiful cry of a new born baby.
The process of reproduction can be explained in simpler term as in this way. In normal cases, man's sperm meets the woman's egg and produces an embryo in woman's womb. Out of million sperms, only one sperm succeeds in fertilizing with the woman's egg. This process actually explains the reproduction in humans but sometimes due to various complication, this process doesn't actually occurs in the same way as it should and the reasons of it could be many. Medical science has come up with a solution of it and that solution is IVF.
Under the process of IVF, the fertilization, in simple words the meeting of sperm with the woman's egg is carried out outside the body of woman under the special surroundings artificially created by specialists. A woman's egg is sucked out from the woman's body and the sperm is made to meet with it to produce the fertilized embryo in the laboratory itself. After the successful meeting and embryo generation, the embryo is placed back in the woman's body for further regeneration. This is the whole idea of IVF. This whole processes generally takes around 13-14 days. IVF is a process that is still being tested on various grounds but it does results in good. This is a kind of science that is creating a ray of hope for the couples who had left every hope that they could ever hear the cry of their own children ever.
IVF is not the only way to try for your infertility problem. There are various other options available too but for women having age more than 40, this option is the primary one. There are various other health issues as well that could force you to take up the procedure of IVF, and these are:
• Damaged Fallopian Tube: Fallopian tube is the area in the woman's body where the woman's egg gets fertilized by meeting a man's sperm. If this part of the woman's body is damaged or broken, it could ask for IVF treatment for the process of reproduction.
• Ovarian Failure: If the ovary is not functioning properly at the age before 40 and is unable to produce proper hormones or fewer eggs are available for fertilization then you have to rush for IVF treatment.
• Sperm count or functional issue: If the man's sperm count is less or the mobility of the sperm is not according to the mark as needed for the reproduction process, then also you can take up the option of IVF.
• A genetic Disorder: If you or your partner fear of transferring some disease or any other thing genetically to the baby you can choose the option of IVF and be doubt free as the embryo that will be formed outside the woman's body will be checked for health before transferring back to the woman's body, although it is not possible to look for all the genetic problems but yes, some of them can be safely kept away from the child.
• Woman is possessing serious health issue: Through this technique of IVF, woman who cannot afford to carry the baby in their womb can lend other woman's womb for their embryo and can have their problem solved. Isn't it amazing?
There are many other cases where IVF treatment could be the last choice to be taken up by the couple for having their baby in this world.
IVF Procedure & Preparation
The whole process of IVF is divided in 6 steps. Here each of them is explained briefly:
• Preparing the ovary: Before the D-day, first the mock embryo transfer is done to check the health level of the body of mother, it is called mock embryo transfer. This is the test that doctor perform to prepare their timeline and procedure of the final day's treatment. This is done in exactly the same way but it is less painful and takes only few minutes. After this test only, doctor prepares their work of line.
• Ovarian Monitoring: Then begins the serious work. The egg coming from the ovary is kept on monitoring and doctors try to keep as many fertilized eggs as possible for future to increase the success rate. During this period, regular team work from the couple and doctors is needed because this is the most crucial time and the most time consuming part of the process as well. Various tests will be done in this phase of the cycle and regular interaction between the doctor and the couple is mandatory.
• The retrieval of the egg: The stimulation and monitoring will end with the retrieval of the egg from the ovary. Timing is very important for this phase of the cycle. The retrieval of the egg should be done just before the expected time of the ovulation of ovary. Man's semen is also collected on the same day and is frozen for further tests and other things to keep it healthy and strong enough till the time it finally meets the egg to form embryo.
• Embryo Development (Lab Work): These are the works that are done behind the doors of the laboratory under the supervision of the experts. The meeting of man's semen and woman's egg is carried out in this stage of the cycle. Various embryos are created and examined for few days. The one which seems healthy enough to get transferred in the mother's womb is chosen and taken to the next stage.
• Embryo Transfer: This stage takes around 10 minutes to complete. No anesthesia is required is this stage. The main thing involved in this stage is the decision of number of embryo to be placed in the uterus of the lady. Many complications can be caused with multiple embryo placements; it can result in multiple pregnancies as well. Hence a decision is made before the placement. Once the decision is taken, the embryo will be inserted with the loaded catheterwith a small puff of air. The whole process will be monitored for few more minutes and then the advices will be given to you for the next 2 weeks till pregnancy.
• Pregnancy Test: This is the stage where the result of all the stages will reflect. We do hope for the best and wishes that the pregnancy appears within 14 days of the embryo transfer but if it doesn't happen, consult the doctor again.