IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) - Process, Treatment, Medical uses

IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) - Process, Treatment, Medical uses, Success Rate, Side effects, Risks & Cost

IVF is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that helps with fertility, embryo development, and implantation so a woman can get pregnant.

IVF stands for 'In Vitro Fertilization

It is a process of fertilization where an egg is combined with sperm outside the body in vitro. IVF is an assisted reproductive technology that is used for infertility treatment and gestational surrogacy. Gestational Surrogacy is an arrangement often supported by a legal agreement in which a fertilized egg is implanted into the uterus of a surrogate woman and the resulting child is genetically unrelated to the surrogate woman. With IVF and egg donation women who have fertility issues or have reached menopause, have an infertile male partner who can still become pregnant.

IVF - In Vitro Fertilisation

IVF process

IVF process involves particular monitoring and stimulating of a woman's ovulatory process. The IVF process involves removing an egg or eggs (an ovum or ova) from the ovaries of a woman and letting sperm fertilize them in a liquid in a laboratory. After that, the fertilized egg (which is known as Zygote) undergoes embryo culture (Embryo culture is a component of IVF where embryos are allowed to grow for some time in an artificial medium) for 2-6 days. And then it is implemented in the same or another woman's uterus to establish a successful pregnancy.

IVF procedure

There are four steps involved in the IVF procedure. These are the following four steps of the IVF process :

1. Ovulation Induction

In Ovulation Induction, your doctor will monitor your ovaries as well as the timing of egg release before and during the IVF process. Your doctor will make sure that your ovaries are producing eggs and your hormone levels are normal. Some women take fertility medicine during this process to stimulate their ovaries so that they can produce one or more eggs. If women have several eggs for the IVF process then the chances of getting pregnant become high. If ovaries are not producing eggs then donor eggs are used for the IVF process.

2. Egg Retrieval

The second step is Egg Retrieval. During this step, pain medication is given to women to reduce any type of discomfort. And after that, a very thin needle is passed through the vaginal wall. The fluid is removed from the follicles under the gentle section with the use of vaginal ultrasound. And then immediately after the aspiration of follicles, the egg is isolated from the follicle fluid. After that this egg is placed in a dish that contains nutrient media. And then this is transferred to the incubator.

3. Fertilization

The third step of the IVF process is the fertilization of the egg. In the step of Fertilization, a male is asked to produce a sample of sperm. Then a sperm sample (Sperm sample either from the partner or donor) is secured. And the most active sperm is mixed with the egg in a chamber. The process of mixing sperm with an egg is called Insemination. But sometimes sperm is directly injected into the egg and this process is known as ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection). ICSI is generally used in those cases where there is a lower probability of fertilization. After that, the sperm and the egg are placed in an incubator. And then it is monitored to make sure that a healthy embryo develops. Once fertilization occurs then the fertilized eggs are considered embryos.

4. Embryo Transfer & Implantation

The fourth and final step of the IVF process is Embryo Transfer. In this step, the embryos are examined, and then the healthiest embryo is selected for transfer. The embryos are generally transferred into the vagina three to five days following egg retrieval and fertilization. To transfer the embryos a small tube or catheter is inserted into the uterus. This procedure is usually painless for some women but some can experience mild cramping during this procedure. If this procedure is successful then implantation typically occurs around six to ten days following egg retrieval.

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IVF medical uses

IVF is used to overcome infertility issues. Infertility can be due to any defect in sperm quality or any problem in the fallopian tubes. In those cases where sperm quality has defected ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) may be used. ICSI is a procedure used in IVF treatment in which a single sperm is injected directly into the cytoplasm of an egg. This procedure is used when the sperm has any difficulty in penetrating the egg. In such cases, the partner's sperm or a donor's sperm is used. It is also used when sperm counts are very low.

IVF treatment 

IVF treatment is used in such cases of unexplained infertility for women who haven't conceived after two years of regular unprotected intercourse. IVF involves many steps (such as ovulation manipulation, egg retrieval, etc.) and it took a few months to complete the whole procedure. For some people sometimes it works on the first try but some people need more than one round of IVF to establish a successful pregnancy.

              (Also read: What is Artificial Insemination?)

IVF Success Rate

IVF success rates are the number of favorable outcomes that represent the number of confirmed pregnancies (known as Pregnancy Rate) and the number of live births (known as Live Birth Rate). The success rate of IVF depends upon various factors such as embryo status, infertility reason, duration of infertility, reproductive history, maternal age, and lifestyle factors. IVF success rates are higher today than they were in the past. The overall success rate of the IVF procedure is 50%. Louis Brown was the first child who was born in the year 1978 after her mother received IVF treatment.

IVF treatment cost

On average one cycle of basic IVF may cost you $12000 to $15000 depending on where you are treated. If a patient requires advanced technological assistance in IVF treatment then the cost of IVF treatment can go much higher.

IVF side effects

Some of the side effects after the IVF process may include :

  • Mild cramping
  • Constipation
  • Passing of a small amount of fluid (Fluid may be clear or slightly blood-tinged).
  • Breast tenderness
  • Mild Bloating
  • OHSS (Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome) - Very Rare cases

IVF risks

Any medical procedure comes with some potential risks. There are some of the IVF risks which are given below :

    • Faintness
    • Short of breath
    • Bloating
    • Severe pain in the stomach
    • Nausea or Vomiting

            There are some other additional risks associated with IVF which are bleeding, infection, chances of multiple pregnancies, or ectopic pregnancy.

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            IVF medication side effects

            Some of the fertility medication side effects may include :

            • Nausea
            • Hot flushes
            • Mood Swing
            • Vomiting
            • Bloating
            • Abdominal discomfort

            Side effects from IVF

            If you experience any of the following symptoms then immediately consult your doctor.

            • Pelvic Pain
            • Blood in the urine
            • Heavy Vaginal bleeding
            • Fever over 100.5°F

            IVF medical abbreviation

            IVF stands for In Vitro Fertilization where In Vitro stands for Laboratory or in the glass.

            Here's wishing you a very happy and healthy pregnancy.  

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            Disclaimer: This content is intended for general information only and should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. The given content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment, or any diagnosis. Always consult a doctor for more information. Our website doesn't claim responsibility for this information.

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