In Vitro Fertilization is a process wherein the fertilization of egg and sperm takes place outside the body. The egg and sperm can be of self or a donor’s egg and sperm can be used.
Need for IVF:
The IVF treatment is recommended in the following cases:
- Infertility issues
- Blockage of fallopian tissues
- Usage of embryo testing to prevent passing of a genetic condition to the child.
- Usage of donated eggs or sperm for fertility to take place.
- Fertility problems of male partner.
- Failure of techniques such as intrauterine insemination (IUI)
The results of IVF process differs from individual to individual, however the following is the general IVF procedure:
Suppressing the Menstrual cycle:
Women will be asked to suppress their monthly cycle as part of the IVF process. A drug will be given in the form of an injection or nasal spray for a period of 2 weeks.
Boosting the egg supply:
The egg count must be increased once the menstrual cycle is suppressed. The fertility hormone named as gonadotrophin will be injected for a continuous period of 12 days. This will increase the egg count gradually.
Maturing the egg:
The drug treatment must be monitored to check if the process is effective or not. The blood tests and vaginal ultrasound scans will be carried out. A hormone injection will be given to mature the eggs before 34-38 hours of collecting it.
Collecting the eggs:
An ultrasound will be used to collect the eggs. A hollow needle will be attached to the ultrasound probe to collect the eggs from each ovary. Once the eggs are collected, the womb will be prepared for embryo transfer. An injection or gel will be used to strengthen the lining of the womb.
Fertilising the egg:
The eggs and sperms will be mixed together and cultured in the laboratory for 16–20 hours. The process will be monitored to check if the fertilization has taken place. The fertilized embryo will then be cultivated in the laboratory incubator for around 6 days. The best fertilized embryo will be chosen for further process and the remaining embryos can be frozen for future use.
This is the last and most delicate step in In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). One or two embryos will be transferred for women below the age of 40. A maximum of 3 embryos can be used for the women aged above 40. This is done to prevent multiple births. Thus, it is always better to set a single embryo as per the doctors. A speculum will be inserted into the vagina so that the cervix is visible. A catheter is then passed into the cervix using ultrasound guidance. The embryo will then be passed to the womb through this tube.
Thus, IVF is carried out using all the modern technologies and it has been a boon to diagnose infertility. It has fulfilled the dreams of many couples to attain parenthood without much hassle.