While many types of research are going on to ascertain the complex functioning of human minds, there are many areas pertaining to human health which are yet be unfolded. No one, even a Medical practitioner knows about what is happening in the human body at any given point in time. The complications that arise out of our physical body are mind-boggling. The medical industry constantly thrives to find solutions to the many health complications that humans face on a day to day basis. Medical researchers have come out with astonishing treatment methods even for ailments or shortcomings in humans on many complicated areas. One such miracle treatment that the Medical fraternity offers to couples who are deprived of fertility is IVF treatment.
When we talk about fertility, normally, a man’s sperm is supposed to be interacting with the egg of a woman to create a baby. Due to various complications pertaining to the man or woman concerned, this process goes for a toss and their reproduction capabilities become a huge question. To help people come out of their reproduction issues, the medical industry offers them IVF treatment which enables them to give birth to a healthy baby. The IVF treatment creates the medically suitable environment outside the woman’s body which is congenial for the man’s sperm to fertilize the woman’s egg. Let us have a detailed look at the IVF treatment in the following paragraphs.
What does IVF stand for?
IVF basically stands for In-vitro Fertilization. Over the period of time, In-vitro Fertilization has become a normal medical procedure that man opts for, to satisfy his dreams about having a child.
How is IVF different from other similar methods of treatment?
Who should make use of IVF Treatment?
IVF treatment must be sought by men and women who have the following issues pertaining to fertility:
Why go in for IVF treatment when other options are available?
Yes. There are many other treatments available for fertilization issues in men and women. However, when the woman is above 40 years of age or there are other health ailments that stop her from conceiving, IVF is the only best option available. The following explanations will help one understand in detail why we say so.
1. Lower Sperm count in men and operational issues linked to it the sperm count of a man plays a significant role in the reproduction process since this is the starting point of the complete procedure. When the sperm count is less, the probabilities to make it meet the egg are very low and so the reproduction process doesn’t get initiated at all. In some men, the sperm count may meet the basic mark but they may not be able to penetrate through to reach the woman’s egg. This is again a huge problem since unless the fertilized availability of woman’s egg is a waste.
2. Failure of Ovaries Women above 40 years of age generally tends to produce less number of eggs that are not enough for fertilization during the reproduction process. This is an indicator of the improper functioning of the Ovaries and initiates the necessity to go in for IVF treatment.
3. Damaged Fallopian Tube Fallopian Tube basically is the area in a woman’s body where the meeting between the man’s sperm and woman’s egg happens. It is in this tube that the woman’s egg gets fertilized by the man’s sperm. When the Fallopian Tube undergoes any sort of damage, this fertilization process gets affected. This leaves the man and the woman with only one option namely the IVF treatment.
4. Women who have other kinds of health issues that are severe in nature Health issues pertaining to women need not be directly related to the reproductive system always. Women may suffer other kinds of health problems which may pose danger to carry a child irrespective of the fact that they are fertile or infertile. In such cases where women cannot afford to carry a baby in their own uterus, the option to lend another woman’s womb that is healthy is available. This way, the woman lending her womb to carry the embryo helps solve the infertility issue faced by the actual woman concerned.
5. Keeping genetic disorder away Where the concerned man has his own doubts that he might transmit a genetic disorder prone to his family and do not want to risk, couples have the option to go in for IVF treatment. Remember, as mentioned earlier, in the IVF treatment, the fertilization process will be happening outside the woman’s body where the sperm of the man and the egg of the woman are made to meet in an external environment. This helps the medical fraternity to ascertain the possibility of the baby acquiring the genetic disorder before planting the same in the woman’s womb. While this assertion may not be complete in all aspects, the IVF method helps in keeping away many of the genetic disorders right at the initial stages.
What exactly happens during the IVF treatment?
IVF Treatment has 6 major steps to be followed. Each of the 6 methods is discussed in detail in the following paragraphs.
1. Preparing the Ovary to ascertain the health of the woman’s ovary, the Doctor first transfers a mock embryo in the woman’s ovary. It is a simple procedure which is less painful than the actual one. This process is called Mock Embryo transfer. Based on the success of this procedure the exact health status of the woman is ascertained and dates for the actual embryo transfer is planned. This process prepares the woman to get ready mentally for the actual transfer planned for a future date.
2. Monitoring the Ovary This step is a long drawn process and takes the maximum time in the complete treatment. The Doctors constantly monitor the eggs in the Ovary and accumulates the maximum number of fertile eggs for future use. This is basically done to increase the winning ratio of the process. During this phase, the concerned couple may be required to meet the Doctors as frequently as possible since the egg collection process from the ovary of the woman needs to happen in a regular manner.
3. Retrieving the Egg Stimulation of the woman’s ovary with constant monitoring of the same continues to happen till eggs are retrieved from the woman’s body. Timing plays a significant role during this phase since eggs need to be retrieved from the ovary of the woman just before the ovulation of the ovary happens. On the same day, the concerned man’s semen is also collected. Both the sperm taken from the man and the eggs retrieved from the woman undergo a series of tests to ascertain their health until a healthy embryo is formed.
4. Development of Embryo this is usually a stage where activities happen behind the screen. Various observations are made on the sperm and egg during this stage. This is the stage when the man’s sperm and woman’s egg meet and form an embryo. Multiple embryos get created at this stage and the experts in the Lab continuously monitor the process. When they are sure about that particular embryo which appears to be healthy enough to get transferred into the woman’s womb, the next stage in IVF treatment gets initiated.
5. Transferring the embryo this is again a significant stage in the whole process of IVF treatment where several crucial decisions pertaining to the embryo transfer needs to be taken. The Doctors in conjunction with the couple needs to take a call on how many healthy embryos need to be transferred into the woman’s womb. This is a crucial decision that needs to be taken after careful consideration since transferring multiple embryos can lead to complications in some women. Transferring multiple embryos into a woman’s womb also means more than one pregnancy. Once this crucial decision is taken then the healthy embryo gets transferred into the woman’s womb using a catheter for the purpose. The catheter then pushes the embryo in by emitting a puff of air. The complete process takes a maximum of 10 minutes and the Doctors will monitor for an extra few minutes to ascertain the completion of the process.
6. Testing for pregnancy the final stage in the IVF procedure, a test for pregnancy is taken after approximately 2 weeks since women who have undergone the complete IVF procedure tends to get pregnant within 14 days from the date of embryo transfer.
Care must be taken by the couple who decide to go in for an IVF treatment to ensure that they do not get stressed out during the process. Any stress experienced may be detrimental to the whole effort and can also lead to mental disturbances that will not help the process in any way. Be positive and undergo each stage of IVF treatment with high levels of optimism