In vitro fertilization commonly known as IVF is a fertility treatment in which sperms and eggs are combined in a laboratory and the resulting embryos are assessed for quality. After this, it is placed in the uterus through the cervix. It is the original ‘test-tube’ baby technique and has been in practice for more than 3 decades. In a process called insemination, the sperm and eggs are placed in incubators located in the laboratory. The incubators enable fertilization to occur. The eggs are then monitored to confirm that fertilization and cell division are taking place. Once this occurs, the fertilized eggs are considered embryos. The embryos are usually transferred into the woman’s uterus from one to six days later, but in most cases, the transfer occurs between two to three days following egg retrieval. At this stage, the fertilized egg has developed into a two-to-four cell embryo. However, in IVF as in natural conception, not every embryo implants to become a pregnancy, which is why surplus embryos are frozen - so that a subsequent transfer might be tried if the first one fails. Freezing is now an essential part of every clinic's IVF programme.
Deciding About the Treatment
IVF can help you get pregnant if you have problems with ovulation or egg quality, blocked fallopian tubes, the low sperm count of your partner or motility or if you are using donor eggs to become pregnant. IVF can also be useful if the problem can’t be identified by your doctor or if other treatments have been unsuccessful. The success rate for IVF/ICSI cycle is between 50-60% per started cycle in women <35 years.
Duration of Stay
The patient usually doesn’t have to stay in hospital but you have to be present in India for regular follow-ups. The treatment usually is 4-6 weeks depending on the condition.
Recovery process/ After Treatment
The recovery process continues side-by-side with treatment. The treatment is very smooth and there are minimal side effects. However, the most widely reported side effect associated with IVF is multiple pregnancies. Ultrasound and hormone monitoring during the treatment phase usually ensure that any risk is avoided. Egg collection can be uncomfortable and usually performed with a local anesthetic.
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