Important information about IVF

Anna Morozova, IVF specialist and Medical Director of GMS IVF, in her interview with addressed the myths about IVF treatment. She also addresses issues like who will benefit from IVF while answering questions like how and why.

According to statistics from all arounevery fifth couple faces the problem of infertility. There can be many reasons for the same, but all of them are due to female or male health. This level of complexity can steer the conversation toward the idea that these partners are incompatible and there is no way to address these issues, which is incorrect. Fortunately, with in vitro fertilization (IVF) to deal with infertility problems has become much easier and hence the method is gaining popularity. Anna Morozova, a medical director at GMS IVF, IVF doctor and gynecologist told who can benefit from IVF, how, and why.

Anna Morozova

The Origin of Infertility

The word «Infertility» is really frightening for most of the couples (i.e. if partners can’t conceive through the course of a year despite having regular sex, implies there is something wrong). But it doesn’t mean there is nothing to do about it. As a rule, the problem affects both partners. The cause of infertility can lay either with a woman or a man or with both of them. That is why the premier goal of Gynecologist and Andrologist (physician who treats male reproductive system) is to diagnose and, if possible, treat the problem appropriately. If a couple cannot conceive naturally even after the treatment, then IVF is a potential option.

Nowadays, every couple has the option to undergo long infertility treatments for the chance to conceive naturally or they can try IVF immediately. Choosing IVF takes much less time but the costs involved are higher. Furthermore, in some cases, treatment cannot help, as there are conditions when patients cannot conceive naturally due to physical reasons (for example if a woman has blocked fallopian tubes or has them removed).

Understanding IVF and its Use

It’s very important to understand that IVF procedure is not a magic pill that one can take when one wants to get their desires immediately fulfilled. Yes, modern medicine has achieved a lot and in vitro fertilization research constantly increases the chances of success, but still there are no guarantees.

IVF is about conceiving, but not inside a female’s body but outside with the use of high-tech technologies. There are five key stages in IVF procedure.

The first stage is ovulation induction or, more accurately, super-ovulation in which the physician’s goal is to collect not just one egg (which is the case in natural ovulation cycle) but rather 5-7 egg. Why this specific amount of eggs? The answer is «To provide a choice during fertilization», as there can be unforeseen circumstances; there is no certainty that one egg is actually suitable for its future mission or if it can bear such a trial.

The procedure of super-ovulation is completely painless. A woman administers hormonal medication or undergos a series of injections while an IVF doctors monitors the response of the ovaries to these medication via ultrasound.

As the Ovulation starts, the second stage begins. Eggs retrieval (or egg "pick up). The procedure is conducted with general anesthetic. A patient fells asleep and the procedure takes about 20-30 minutes.

The third stage is fertilizing the eggs with sperm collected from the male. During the fourth stage the embryos are cultivated and monitored under close supervision.

Finally during the fifth stage, the developed embryos are transferred to the uterus of the future mother. From this point/p onwards the growth of the embryo continues inside the female body naturally.


The Duration and Effectiveness of IVF

The entire process can take up to 2 weeks, but confirming a pregnancy takes a bit longer. The success rate of the procedure is about 30-40%. Data indicates that almost every second attempt is a success i.e. the woman got pregnant. For comparison purposes, the probability of getting pregnant naturally from one sexual intercourse is 25%.

The result of IVF depends on many factors including why natural conception was impossible and, of course, the age of a 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 generally does not affect the chances of conceiving so much.

Contraindications to IVF

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

What will help during IVF?

Above all, both partners should lead a healthy lifestyle several months before planning the procedure. Secondly, the attending doctor needs to understand the full health profile of the male and female. For this it is recommended that both partners provide as much information as possible regarding their medical history, even if they seem to find it irrelevant. Thirdly, the stimulation method should be chosen carefully and egg aspiration should be done properly in addition to the embryo transfer. Finally, it is very important to keep a positive attitude and trust that IVF procedure will work — any doctor will recommend the same.

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

Author: Olga Bolodurina


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