In Vitro Fertilization procedure is an assisted reproductive technology which is commonly known as IVF. IVF consists of the process of fertilization through the extraction of eggs, retrieving of a sperm sample, and then lastly, manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus. IVF is usually considered in the following situations: When a woman has damaged or blocked Fallopian tubes, male factor infertility including decreased sperm count or sperm motility, women who have had their Fallopian tubes removed, individuals suffering from a genetic disorder, and lastly, women with ovulation disorders, premature ovarian failure, and uterine fibroid.
There are 5 steps in the IVF and embryo transfer process:
- Fertility medications are prescribed in order to stimulate egg production. Multiple eggs are required as some eggs will not develop or fertilize once retrieval is done. A trans vaginal ultrasound is used to examine the ovaries, and then, blood sample tests are taken to check hormone levels.
- Eggs are retrieved through a minor surgical procedure consisting of of the use of ultrasound imaging to guide a hollow needle through the pelvic cavity to remove the eggs. Medication is provided to cater to potential pain and discomfort.
- The male is requested to produce a sample of sperm, which is than preparing for combining with the eggs.
- The process of insemination takes place, consisting of the sperm and eggs being mixed together and stored in a laboratory dish to encourage fertilization.
- The embryos are usually transferred into the woman’s uterus three to five days following egg retrieval and fertilization. A catheter or small tube is inserted into the uterus to transfer the embryos. This procedure is usually painless for most women, although mild cramping can occur. If the InVitro procedure works, implantation typically occurs around 6 – 10 days after egg retrieval.
Some side effects after IVF can include the following:
- Passing a small amount of fluid after the procedure
- Mild bloating
- Mild cramping
- Breast tenderness
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Pelvic pain
- Blood in the urine
Fertility medication can lead to the following side effects:
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
In general, the more severe potential consequences include the chance of a multiples pregnancy. There are numerous risks and concerns in regards to pregnancy including the heightened risk of premature delivery and low birth weight.
Egg retrieval also carries risks of infection, bleeding, and damage to the bowel or bladder.
InVitro Fertilization (IVF) involves a high extent of physical, financial, and emotional commitment on the part of the couple. Psychological stress and emotional problems are highly common, especially if the IVF proves to be unsuccessful. IVF is also quite expensive,and most insurance plans do not provide coverage for fertility treatment.
The success rate of InVitro Fertilization (IVF) can depend on the following factors: reproductive history, maternal age, lifestyle factors, and cause of infertility.
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