Micro-incisional phacoemulsification for Cataracts
In vitro fertilization or IVF is a series of complex clinical procedures to treat infertility with the goal of attaining pregnancy and conceiving a child. IVF involves the removal of eggs from the ovaries, followed by fertilization with sperm in the lab, and then introducing the embryo or embryos back into the uterus for implantation.
IVF treatment is administered in cycles. It is a minimally invasive procedure that takes around 2 weeks for the completion of a single fertilization cycle. Your chances of conceiving through IVF varies based on your age and the cause for infertility.
Normal Fertilization and Implantation.
Every month a woman releases one mature egg from an ovary into a fallopian tube, a process called ovulation. Sperm released during intercourse travel up through the vaginal canal into the uterus and then into the fallopian tubes. If a sperm meets the egg in the fallopian tube, fertilization occurs to form an embryo. The embryo then travels down the fallopian tube and implants itself in the lining of the uterus or womb, where it grows and develops into a baby.
The most common indications for IVF include:
Previous fertility treatments such as medication and lifestyle changes have not been successful.
Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes.
Ovulation problems (infrequent or absent).
Premature ovarian failure (loss of normal function of your ovaries before the age of 40).
Severe Endometriosis (presence of uterine tissue outside the uterus).
Uterine fibroids (benign tumors on the wall of the uterus).
Male factor infertility (low sperm count and low sperm motility).
If you or your partner has a genetic disorder that can pass on to the baby.
To preserve fertility if you have cancer or other health conditions.
IVF treatment involves five main steps:
Your doctor will administer fertility drugs to stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple eggs instead of just one. Blood tests to check hormone levels and transvaginal ultrasound, a procedure where a probe that sends and receives sound waves is inserted into your vagina, will be conducted to monitor the development of the eggs.
Your doctor will perform follicular aspiration, a minor surgical procedure that involves the removal of eggs, by inserting a narrow needle with a suction device through your vagina. Each follicle in the ovary is pierced in order to retrieve the eggs.
Insemination and fertilization.
Insemination involves the mixing of the retrieved eggs with sperm obtained through ejaculation, in an environmentally controlled chamber to facilitate the process of fertilization. If the chance of fertilization is low, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be performed where the sperm is directly injected into the egg.
The formation and development of an embryo is monitored in the lab. At this stage, a test called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) may be performed on a single cell of each embryo, to screen for genetic disorders that can be transferred from a parent to the unborn child. The embryos are cultured in the lab until day 5.
One or more cultured embryos are transferred into the womb through a thin tube. If an embryo attaches or implants itself in the womb lining, it results in pregnancy.
After the procedure.
Embryo transfer is carried out under a full bladder. You will be able to empty your bladder once the procedure is completed.
For the first two days after an embryo transfer you should refrain from heavy lifting, physical activity like running or aerobics, swimming, alcohol, smoking, tampons, douching and intercourse.
You can do a home pregnancy test 10 days after embryo transfer to confirm pregnancy.
Risks and Complications.
As with any procedure, risks and complications can occur. The possible complications associated with specific steps of IVF include:
Risk of multiple births.
Risk of premature or low birth weight infant.
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) (enlarged and painful ovaries).
Risks of egg retrieval include infection, bleeding, and damage to the bladder, bowel, or blood vessels.
Ectopic pregnancy (implantation of embryo outside the uterus).
IVF is a complex treatment available to help couples with fertility problems achieve pregnancy. Most infertile couples who are unable to conceive with other fertility therapies can opt for IVF. IVF has successfully helped many couples achieve their dream of parenthood.