Today In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment is a well known term, but earlier this procedure was often confused with another procedure of ‘test-tube babies’. IVF has proved itself as the best treatment option for having a baby. It is basically concerned with fertility issues involving endometriosis, sperm antibodies and also unexplained infertility. The procedure is done in a laboratory outside the body by combining both eggs and sperm. The embryos are then placed in the uterus after their formation. IVF is performed in those cases where other methods of artificial insemination, surgery and fertility drugs have failed. The birth rate in every IVF treatment cycle is around 15-20% in women in between the age of 38-40, 25% in women who are in between the age of 35-37 and 30-35% in women who are below 35 years of age. The birth rate of 6-10% is seen in women who crossed the age of 40.
There are different causes that can result in infertility. Low sperm count, problems with ovulation, endometriosis, inability of sperm to survive or penetrate in the cervical mucus, problems with Fallopian tubes or the uterus and different antibody problems harming eggs or sperm are some of the major causes of infertility that can be treated with the help of IVF. IVF treatment follows step by step procedure. In total there are five steps involved in the entire procedure.
Step 1 : Certain fertility medications are then given to the women at the time of their menstrual cycle in order to increase the chances of collecting many eggs and also to control the ripening time of an egg. This period is often termed as ovulation induction. The purpose of deriving multiple eggs is that some eggs may not fertilize or develop after retrieval. An ultrasound is done to monitor the egg development and also for examining the ovaries. Hormone levels are then checked by taking blood or urine test samples.
Step 2 : A minor surgical procedure is performed for retrieving the eggs by using ultrasound imaging that helps a hollow needle to enter from the pelvic cavity. Possible discomfort is removed by providing local anesthesia and sedation. The procedure of follicular aspiration is used where with the help of a needle ovaries are removed. There may be a feeling of cramping in some women on the retrieval day that generally subsides next day. An embryologist locates the eggs by scanning follicular fluids. The placement of the eggs is done in a special media where there are cultured in an incubator till the time of insemination.
Step 3 : Through the process of ejaculation, sperm is obtained which then combines with the available eggs.
Step 4 : The procedure of standard insemination is done by transferring around 50,000-100,000 motile sperms into a dish having eggs, if the parameters are normal enough. In case of abnormal parameters, ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) technique is used for fertilizing mature eggs. The technique of ICSI is used for achieving fertilization when the sperm is retrieved surgically. The ICSI technique involves injecting of a single sperm straightaway into the egg for achieving fertilization. The eggs are then examined for confirming that cell division and fertilization is happening. When these fertilized eggs occurs, they are then termed as embryos.
Step 5 : After 1-6 days, these fertilized eggs or embryos are then transferred into the uterus of a woman. In some cases the embryos are transferred after 2-3 days after the process of egg retrieval. The egg is now developed into 2-4 cell embryo by this stage. A speculum is involved in the transfer procedure. The cervix is exposed by inserting a speculum into the vagina. The embryos are then suspended within fluid and is placed into the womb using a catheter. Ultrasound is used for this process and the entire procedure is painless. The cervix is exposed by inserting a speculum into the vagina.
All these steps are then carefully watched for determining early pregnancy symptoms. An ultrasound and a blood tests are required for determining the occurrence of pregnancy and successful implantation. The entire IVF treatment procedure takes 4-6 weeks to complete. A patient is required to stay half a day for the procedures of fertilization and egg retrieval. The success rate of IVF treatment is very high which largely depends upon the age and fertility problem. The eggs are healthier at a young age that also increases the chances of success.
Read more on Infertility Treatment in India along with Best Hospitals and Treatment Cost