By Dr. Kokila Desai, Gynaecology
As we all know that IVF stands for In vitro fertilisation. It is a method of stimulating the ovaries in a female body, to release an ovum (egg), which is taken out of the body and fertilised artificially in the laboratory with the help of a sperm. After this, the embryo is transferred back to the uterus where it grows and develops naturally.
Understanding the Procedure:
- The doctor attempts to have complete control over your menstrual and ovulation cycles, so as to know the correct time of the month when you ovulate. This includes, charting basal body temperatures, hormonal therapy drugs etc.
- Frequent blood tests, ultrasound will be required to map the progress of ovulation.
- Injections, drugs will be prescribed in required dosage to stimulate the ovaries.
- During this time, the doctors will monitor the growth of oocytes (eggs).
- After a suitable growth of the oocytes follicles, the eggs are retrieved for artificial insemination. (Fertilisation with the use of sperm cells in the laboratory).
- After the successful fertilisation, the embryo is transferred back to the uterus.
Can IVF have side effects?
- As a side effect it has a major chance of multiple pregnancies. People intending to have just one child, may not be mentally or economically prepared to take the responsibility of more than one child.
- The drugs and medicines used throughout the IVF procedure may create hormonal complications in the long run. It bears a risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, if the mother has to go through the cycle multiple times.
But it offers a number of benefits too…
- IVF increases the chance of pregnancy by a large percentage. It is one of the most successful methods of boosting fertility and pregnancy.
- Couples, who have repeatedly failed to bear children naturally, can opt for this treatment to produce their own offspring.
- In case the couples are completely infertile, donor eggs or sperms may be used in the process. However, in that case, the offspring will not bear the DNA of both parents.
- IVF can greatly reduce the chance of surgery on the fallopian tubes.
- IVF also provides an opportunity to choose the healthiest embryos before implanting it back in the uterus. A procedure, known as the pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, determines the presence of any abnormal genes or other chromosomal absurdity.
- The procedure of IVF has a very high success rate and with technological advancements in the field of medicine, it has also become much safer.
- IVF allows women, who go into premature menopause, to be able to bear a child. This treatment is mostly for women who decide to experience motherhood at a slightly older age.
- IVF allows same sex partners and single women to bear an offspring.
- It is extremely helpful for women who have their fallopian tubes damaged, blocked or surgically removed.