In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an effective treatment option for those suffering from infertility, and increases chance of pregnancy. It is the most effective method of assisted reproductive technologies, and is generally preferred when other treatments do not work. However, not every couple may be eligible for this treatment. Therefore, prospective couples undergo a health screening first. If the doctor approves in vitro fertilization option, couple should expect a challenging treatment process in several stages. The content of treatment consists of sperm fertilization in the laboratory environment of mature eggs collected from the ovaries. Then fertilized egg (embryo) is transferred to the uterus. Treatment takes about a month, but when the stages are divided into different parts, the procedure may take longer. It is a challenging and expensive process, and the likelihood of success depends on many factors, such as age and cause of infertility.
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It is a pregnancy that occurs when a woman’s egg is fertilized with a man’s sperm in the laboratory and transferred to the uterus. In vitro fertilization (IVF) means fertilization outside the body. It is one of the most common assisted reproductive technologies used as a last resort for increasing fertility.
This procedure uses special medical techniques to help a woman become pregnant. It is a complex procedure and requires healthy psychology throughout the process.
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The IVF method is applied to help a woman get pregnant. In addition,
Eggs collected from the ovaries prior to cancer treatment can be frozen and stored for future use with or without fertilization.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a procedure in which sperm fertilization of the egg is performed in a laboratory environment using technological means. The fertilized egg is placed back into the uterus with the help of medication and surgical procedures.
The process usually works as follows:
Pregnancy occurs if any of the embryos settles inside the uterus.
The specialist will choose one of two types of IVF treatment according to the characteristics of the couples in order to achieve the highest probability of success.
Any couple who cannot have a baby naturally despite regular unprotected intercourse for 1 year can apply for this treatment. It can be considered as a last resort if other types of assisted reproductive technologies do not work.
However, not every couple is suitable for this treatment. In addition, even if the couples meet all criteria, the result may not be successful. Everyone’s response to treatment is different.
IVF is recommended for women with the following health conditions:
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If the IVF is the most appropriate treatment and the couple is committed to this treatment, the gynecologist will refer them to the IVF center.
The doctor then describes the treatment plan in detail and provides information about any support or guidance that may be useful.
Each treatment plan is individual, and varies from patient to patient, but usually consists of the following stages:
Hormone drugs are taken by daily injection for about 2 weeks. They are also available as a nasal spray. The aim is to increase the effect of drugs, which will be used in next stage.
When the natural menstrual cycle is suppressed, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), ie fertility hormone, is taken by injection for 10-12 days. FSH increases the number of eggs produced by the ovaries. This means that more eggs can be collected and fertilized.
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A vaginal ultrasound scan is performed to monitor the ovaries and in some cases blood tests. Approximately 34-38 hours before the collection of the eggs, a final hormone injection is given to help eggs mature.
The matured eggs are collected by a small surgical procedure known as follicular aspiration under anesthesia. A very fine needle is inserted into the ovary of the patient’s vagina by ultrasound guidance, and the needle attached to the suction device sucks the eggs.
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This process is repeated for each ovary separately. It takes about 15-20 minutes and the patient can return home on the same day. Some women may experience cramping or minor vaginal bleeding after this procedure.
At this stage, a semen sample is requested from the male. The collected sperm are mixed with the eggs in the laboratory. It is checked for fertilization after 16-20 hours.
In some cases it may be necessary to inject a single sperm separately into each egg by ICSI. Fertilized eggs (embryos) continue to grow in the laboratory for up to 6 days before being placed in the uterus. During this time, the doctor monitors the fertilized eggs to ensure their separation and development.
If necessary, embryos can be tested for genetic conditions. One or two of the best embryos are selected for transplantation. Progesterone or human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) is then administered to help the uterine lining receive the embryo. It is usually injected into the vagina or taken as a gel.
When the embryos are large enough, transfer to the uterus is performed using a catheter (a thin tube) that passes through the vagina into the uterus. This stage is simpler than egg collection and is similar to the smear test, so there is often no need for anesthesia. The number of embryos to be transferred should be discussed before starting treatment. This usually depends on age of patient:
If the embryo adheres to the uterine lining, healthy embryo growth and pregnancy can begin. Pregnancy tests are performed approximately 2 weeks after embryo transfer. When pregnancy is identified, the follow-up process continues until the fetal heart beat is confirmed.
During the first week, a blood test for pregnancy is performed every 2-3 days, followed by weekly ultrasound until a heartbeat is detected.
IVF has several steps and it takes several months to complete the entire process. Sometimes the first attempt is successful, but many people need more than 1 round of IVF to get pregnant.
According to the Society for Reproductive Technology, the probability of having a healthy baby after IVF is approximately:
The success of IVF depends on the age of the treated woman and the cause of infertility (if known). Young women are more likely to have a successful pregnancy. In vitro fertilization is generally not recommended for women over the age of 42, because the chance of successful pregnancy is considered to be very low.
Possible risks after IVF treatment:
It is not clear whether IVF increases the risk of birth defects. Medical research has shown that fertility drugs are not associated with ovarian cancer.
Resources and References:1- In vitro fertilization (IVF),2- IVF,3- IVF treatment steps
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