IVF procedure which stands for In vitro Fertilisation is an advanced fertility treatment of our times. In this procedure the Ovum is fertilised by a sperm outside the body or uterus. This procedure was first carried out successfully in 1978 by Dr. Robert Edwards who went on to win a Nobel prize for this scientific breakthrough.
The success rate of IVF is a little difficult to assess as it depends on the various factors like age of the patient, the extent of complication with the reproductive system, habits of smoking and previous history of miscarriages and abortions. This procedure has been discussed in detail with processes involved in the IVF.
Monitoring Ovulation And Retrieval
If a woman is not able to conceive naturally then there are two ways of getting a healthy ovum. Either it is extracted from the patient or taken from an egg donor. Where the issue is low quality or absence of ovum in the patient the donor egg is preferred. In case where it is retrieved from the patient the monthly cycle is monitored and ovum is extracted when it is released.
This is natural IVF. In some cases medicines might be used to induce the release of ovum. These drugs cause you to produce multiple eggs instead of naturally produced one ovum in one month. The eggs ones released are retrieved right before they come out of the follicles. This is an extremely critical step as a bit too early or late can cause failure of the entire procedure.
Fertilising The Ovum
The extracted ovum is mixed with the your partner’s sperm or donor’s as the case may be right after its retrieval. The usual ratio is 75000 sperms to one ovum.
In special cases where sperm is not able to penetrate the ovum, the sperm may be inserted artificially with intracystoplasmic sperm injection. The fertilisation is monitored and an ova is said to be fertilised when there is cell division in it. A fertilised Ova is referred to as embryo.
To increase the chances of success in IVF procedures, multiple ovum are extracted and fertilised. When the time for planting these embryos come, a proper selection and rejection process is followed. Usually five days into fertilisation is considered best time to transfer them in to the uterus. Embryos are studied and observed for their size, growth and evenness. After close observation, best embryos are selected and rest discarded.
Again as is with the fertilisation, multiple embryos can be planted to increase the success rate of the procedure. The number of embryos that can be planted depends on various factors like law of the land, age of the patient and earlier history of failure in pregnancies.
With the help of a catheter the embryo or embryos are planted in the Uterus through Vagina. A few hours after the implantation, the patient can go home. Usually the pregnancy can be confirmed in two to three weeks after the plantation of embryo. Even when the pregnancy is confirmed a close monitoring is continued as IVF can lead to multiple pregnancies and conditions like low placenta. It is also believed that babies that are born out of IVF procedure have higher chances of congenital diseases and birth defects.
With all its drawbacks, it is a miraculous procedure which has filled much joy and happiness amongst various families across the world by giving them a little bundle of joy and in some cases quite a few bundle of joys!