In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is one of the best alternatives available for couples who are having fertility problems.
However, this process doesn’t always guarantee a successful pregnancy.
Let’s learn more about this type of fertility treatment.
What is IVF?
It is the process wherein a woman’s egg is surgically removed from the ovaries and mixed with sperm inside a culture dish.
The fertilization and cell division process happens in the dish thus named “in vitro,” meaning “in glass.”
When the egg has already developed into an embryo, it is then ready to be implanted into a woman’s womb.
Why Do Some Couples Resort to IVF?
When couples have issues with infertility, IVF is not the first treatment most doctors would highly recommend.
Often, they would advise couples to try fertility medications or intrauterine insemination or IUI first.
If these options proved to be futile, then your doctor would tell you to resort to IVF.
In some cases, IVF is advised when either the woman or man has been diagnosed with reproductive system problems including:
- Ovulation issues
- Low sperm count
- Low sperm motility
- Unexplained infertility
- Issues involving the uterus or fallopian tubes
Normally, most couples who are trying to start a family can do so without any difficulties within 12 months of unprotected coitus.
However, if you’re worried about fertility issues, it would be best to visit a gynecologist so any of your concerns regarding pregnancy can be addressed properly.
In most cases, your gynecologist will refer you to a fertility specialist when you’re 35 or younger and when you have been trying to have a baby for a year or more.
On the other hand, if you’re 35 or above, your gynecologist will most likely recommend fertility treatment if you have been trying for six months and still has not gotten pregnant.
What Are the Tests Done Before the Procedure?
As previously stated, most doctors won’t immediately resort to IVF. Often, they do it as a last resort.
Before anything else however, you will most likely be asked to take a series of tests to determine the root cause of your infertility problems.
Some of the tests may include the following:
Hepatitis and HIV Test
Prior to having IVF, couples should be tested for Hepatitis and HIV for safety reasons.
Male Fertility Tests
Your partner will be required to undergo a semen analysis to determine sperm count, quality, and motility.
Mock transfers are done by some clinics prior to having IVF. This process involves inserting a catheter into the uterus (which is basically the same thing that will be done in a real transfer).
This procedure is performed to determine the depth of the uterus. It is also done to identify the best method to insert the catheter when doing the real transfer.
Female Fertility Tests
Most women will be required to undergo a blood test to identify the level of hormones and the quality of the eggs in the ovaries. This is also done to check whether a woman is ovulating or not.
Apart from that, your doctor may tell you to get a hysterosalpingogram or HSG to see if there are blockages or abnormalities present in your fallopian tubes.
Does it have a Low or High Success Rate?
Certain factors like age can significantly affect the success rate of IVF. The younger the woman is, the higher the chances are of the process becoming successful.
In addition, some clinics prove to have higher success rates compared to others.
If you’re considering having an in vitro fertilization, make sure to gather sufficient information about how it works, what it’s all about, and what to expect so you are able to come up with the best decision.