By Dr. Yukti Wadhawan, Gynaecology
In vitro fertilization or IVF is an advanced process of fertilisation, which involves the combining of an egg with a sperm in a laboratory dish. This is followed by the implantation of the embryo(s) [a developing unborn offspring formed by the combination] in your uterus. Being one of the most successful and widely opted methods of assisted reproductive technology, IVF is considered to be highly advantageous for couples who seek a child but have fertility issues.
1. IVF proves to be a boon for couples who are normally unable to conceive: Couples who have fertility issues generally opt for IVF to fulfil their wish of having a child. IVF works against fertility problems like blocked fallopian tubes, PCOS, endometriosis (a condition where a fraction of the womb lining grows outside it), premature ovarian failure or menopause among women and unusual sperm size, low sperm count, and inadequate sperm mobility among men.
2. It has been in use since long and is proven to be safe: IVF was first used in 1978 to give life to the baby Louise Brown, safely. Since then, the enhancements in technology and techniques have resulted in large numbers of successful cases, where IVF has proved to be a safe method for conceiving.
3. It has higher success rates in comparison to other types of technologies used for assisted reproduction: Though various types of assisted reproductive technologies like IUI (Intrauterine insemination) are available for couples seeking a child, the success rate and effectiveness of IVF is the highest. This is due to the fact that IVF has undergone significant levels of enhancement over the years in comparison to other such techniques.
4. It proves to be of great help to same-sex couples and single women: Same-sex couples and single women are hugely benefitted through IVF as it helps them in becoming parent(s) by using donor sperms.
5. It can help you to eliminate genetic disorders: IVF helps in preventing the conceived child from inheriting any general disorders present in the parents through the process of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD – a reproductive technology that accompanies an IVF cycle to detect genetic diseases in the embryo before the implantation happens). Moreover, opting for pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) increases the probability of success as it entails a screening of the embryos that helps in identifying chromosomal disorders like Down’s syndrome.