Opting for In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) or test tube baby

 
Contributed by : Ravina Sewani   
Opting for In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) or test tube baby

Couples facing infertility problems can opt for IVF.

In Vitro Fertilisation, commonly known as IVF, is a process that helps to overcome female infertility. In some cases, it can also help with male infertility. In IVF, the egg and sperm are fertilised outside the mother's body in a test tube. Hence the babies born through IVF are sometimes called as test tube babies. The fertilised embryo is them implanted in the mother's womb or another woman's womb.


Steps of IVF:

  • Egg production stimulated by hormone therapy
  • Egg retrieval from ovary
  • Sperm Sample Production - happens on the same day of egg retrieval
  • Fertilisation of egg and sperm in a test tube
  • Transferring fertilised eggs into the uterus


The woman who wants to opt for IVF, is given fertility medications for 10 to 15 days. These medicines stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs. For these 10-15 days, the woman is required to visit the doctor regularly for blood tests and ultrasounds. Once the stimulation period is over and sufficient eggs have been produced, the eggs are removed from the woman's body and are infused with the woman's partner's sperms in the laboratory. After three to five days, when the embryo reaches the 180 cells stage, one or more embryos are transferred back into the woman's uterus from the test tube. About two weeks later, you will be required visit your doctor to determine if the IVF was successful or not. Once the embryo is transferred to the womb, it develops inside the mother. The rest of the pregnancy happens in a normal way. Sometimes if the woman's womb is incapable of nursing the embryo, another woman's womb is implanted with the fertilised embryo. This is called surrogacy. Keep in mind that IVF cycle is time consuming and expensive.


Things to keep in mind for a successful IVF:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Limit your alcohol intake
  • Keep your blood pressure and diabetes in check


Side effects of IVF:

  • Emotional ups and downs during the IVF cycle
  • Cramping in the pelvic area
  • Breast tenderness.
  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). This is very rare and it occurs when fertility drugs cause a woman to make too many eggs. The symptoms of OHSS are weight gain, swelling in the abdomen, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
  • A minute risk of multiple pregnancies or birth complications. Doctors generally implant more than one embryo during IVF to increase the chance of getting pregnant with multiple babies. This increases the risk of premature labour and underweight babies. To avoid these complications, some people and doctors opt for one embryo implantation.


Who can opt for IVF?

  • Unexplained infertility
  • Blocked fallopian tubes
  • Male factor infertility
  • Older patients who desire to have a child
  • Low ovarian reserve
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Endometriosis
  • Premature Ovarian Failure



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