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Important information about IVF
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Important information about IVF

According to world statistics, every 5th married couple faces the problem of infertility. There can be millions of reasons, all connected to female or male health. This level of complexity can steer the conversation toward the idea that these partners are incompatible and can’t do anything to solve the problem. Thankfully, using in vitro fertilization (IVF) to deal with infertility problems is becoming more and more popular. Anna Morozova, a specialist in gynecology and reproductive medicine at the GMS IVF Clinic, told who should use IVF, how, and why.

 Important information about IVF 

The Origin of Infertility

For many, this truly frightening word implies something negative about a married couple if they can’t conceive through the course of a year despite having sex regularly. As a rule, the problem affects both partners. The reasons leading to infertility are usually shared by both the male and female. The goal of the andrologist and gynecologist is to find the reason and, if possible, treat the problem appropriately. If the male and female cannot conceive naturally, then IVF is a potential option.

Nowadays, every couple has the choice to undergo long infertility treatments for the chance to conceive naturally or try IVF immediately. Choosing IVF takes much less time but costs more. Furthermore, in some cases, treatment doesn’t make sense since there are diseases patients can have that prevent pregnancy anyway.

Understanding IVF and its Use

It’s important to understand that IVF is not a magical pill you can take when you want to get what you want immediately. Yes, a lot is possible in modern medicine and in vitro fertilization research constantly increases the chances of success, but there are still no guarantees.

We’ve been talking a lot about conception—not about outside of the female body, but rather inside with the use of high-tech equipment. The IVF procedure consists of 5 steps.

The first stage is ovulation induction or, more accurately, superovulation in which the physician’s goal is to collect not just one egg cell, as in most natural cases of conception, but rather 5-7 egg cells. Why that specific amount? To provide a choice during fertilization since nobody knows if one cell is actually suitable for its future mission or if it can bear such a trial. Stimulation is completely painless; the process involves the woman taking hormonal medication or undergoing a series of injections while a specialist watches for «answers» from the eggs via ultrasound.

The second step, egg aspiration, begins when ovulation starts. All egg cells are taken from female body while under anesthesia. The third step is fertilizing the eggs with sperm cells collected from the male. After that, the embryos are cultivated and monitored under close supervision.

Finally, the collected embryos are transferred to the future mother’s womb — the fertilized eggs are transported to the uterus for the future development. Ultimately, one, two or, less often, three cells survive from the group of collected eggs. Yes, this is why twins are rather common if IVF aided their conception.

The Origin of Infertility

The Duration and Effectiveness of IVF

The entire process takes up to 2 weeks, but confirming a pregnancy takes a bit longer. The procedure is effective 30-40% of the time. The data indicates that almost every second attempt is a success, meaning the woman got pregnant. For comparison, the probability of getting pregnant naturally from one sexual encounter is 25%.

The result of IVF depends on many factors including why natural conception was impossible and, of course, the age of the female. The older the future mother, the less effective IVF will be. Basically, female cells don’t regenerate; instead, they decrease in number as reproductive years go by. After 40, the percent of conceiving naturally, even with the help of IVF, decreases by 5-10%. The age of the man does not affect the chances of conceiving as much. 

Contraindications to IVF

Here we can boldly say that there are none of them. All types of in vitro fertilization are suitable for everyone. If the couple faces the problem of having no egg cells, no semen ,or past surgeries that have affected the physiological construction of female reproductive system (for example, the absence of a uterus or ovaries), then special cell donation programs or surrogacy programs are available.

What will help during IVF?

Above all else, both partners are recommended to have already started maintaining a healthy lifestyle months before performing the procedure. Secondly, the attending doctor needs to understand the full health profile of the male and female. Thirdly, the stimulation method should be chosen carefully and egg aspiration should be done properly in addition to the embryo transfer. Finally, keep a positive attitude and trust that IVF will work — any specialist will say the same.

Infertility is far from a «death sentence» and shouldn’t be considered one. What’s more, modern medicine is not just developing nowadays, it’s moving at break-neck speed. Nothing is impossible; just want it with all your heart! Children are really and truly worth the time and money spent!


Author: Olga Bolodurina

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