By Dr. Shweta Goswami, IVF Speciality,
Many women dream of becoming mothers and holding their babies in their arms. While almost every woman is born with the ability to procreate, not all women find it easy to conceive a child. The inability to conceive a child after having well-timed, unprotected sexual intercourse is known as infertility. There are many different types of infertility. Thankfully, there are also many ways to treat infertility. IVF or In vitro fertilization is one of the most well-known fertility therapies. This involves harvesting an egg from the woman, fertilizing it with the male sperm cells in a laboratory and reintroducing the fertilized embryo into the woman’s womb. IVF can be used to treat infertility caused by a number of factors. These include:
1. Tubal damage
The fallopian tubes connect the ovaries to the uterus. If these tubes are damaged or blocked, the eggs may not be able to reach the uterus. Surgery to open the blocked tubes is an option but this is a high risk surgery and even after the procedure, there is a risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. Thus, IVF is often preferred as it bypasses the tubes completely.
Endometriosis refers to the abnormal growth of uterine tissue outside the uterus. In such cases, IVF is the most preferred form of fertility treatment. This has the highest success rates and can be used even in cases where endometriomas are present.
3. Male infertility
Infertility does not affect only women. Men with a low sperm count or those with poor quality sperm can also be diagnosed with infertility. In such cases, harvesting the eggs and sperm and combining them in a lab to form an embryo gives a couple the highest chances of a successful pregnancy.
4. Low ovarian reserve
With age the quantity and quality of eggs available to a woman decreases. If low ovarian reserve is detected early enough, the eggs may be harvested and frozen for later use. In such cases, IVF is the only option available to a couple. IVF can help even in later stages. In this case, ovulation may have to first be induced with medication.
5. Unexplained infertility
Though medical advancements have helped us identify a number of factors that could trigger infertility, there are still some cases where infertility is unexplained. This is typically seen in upto 20% of the couples who seek treatment for infertility. In such cases, IVF is the best route of treatment.
No matter what the cause of infertility may be, IVF can help you. Although, it is crucial that one consults a specialist at the earliest to avoid complications.