Surprising fertility facts you better know about in-vitro fertilization (IVF)
Monica Scott, BS, RN writes:
Many women who have had difficulty becoming pregnant have heard the term In-Vitro Fertilization and have wondered if it may be a way to help them conceive. Doctors have been using the process since 1978, and the procedure has resulted in more than 200,000 babies. IVF is different from artificial insemination (in which a doctor places sperm inside the uterus and conception occurs as it would otherwise). Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests
In-Vitro fertilization occurs when sperm and eggs are combined outside of the body in a medical laboratory. When an egg is fertilized, forming an embryo, the embryo is placed inside the uterus. While the process can be highly successful, it is also a complicated and expensive procedure. There are many things to consider before choosing IVF, but it may be a good choice for you.
The first thing to consider is what the cause of your infertility is. The following is a list of conditions for which IVF can be used to successfully overcome:
Diagnosis #1 - Endometriosis
Diagnosis #2 - Low sperm count
Diagnosis #3 - Abnormalities of the uterus or fallopian tubes
Diagnosis #4 - Difficult or irregular ovulation
Diagnosis #5 - Antibody problems that damage sperm or eggs
Diagnosis #6 - Sperm with low motility that has difficulty surviving or penetrating cervical mucus
Diagnosis #7 - Unexplained fertility problems
IVF is not the first procedure considered when treating infertility. Doctors reserve the use of IVF for patients for whom other treatments such as fertility drugs, artificial insemination, or surgery have failed. Once you and your doctor reach the decision that In-Vitro fertilization may be right for you, you will want to select a fertility clinic to perform the procedure if your doctor does not. The first thing that will happen once you have selected a clinic is that you will inject hormones that will cause you to product multiple eggs each month rather than a single egg. You will then be tested to determine when your body is ready for egg retrieval.
The retrieval process can be mildly painful, but you can choose to have it performed under anesthesia to minimize any pain. Your partner will donate sperm the same day, and the lab will immediately begin combining the sperm and egg to create embryos. The lab will monitor the development of the embryos to ensure that they are growing as well as possible, and you can usually return for implantation in about five to seven days as long as everything proceeds as planned.
The implantation process is easier than the egg retrieval process, and you can usually go home in about four to six hours. Your doctor will have you return in a few weeks for a pregnancy test.
Before you decide to try IVF, discuss with your partner what you will do with any embryos that are not implanted. You should also discuss the chances for success with your doctor so that you have a realistic view of your chances for getting pregnant as IVF is not a guarantee that you will get pregnant.
The chances of multiple births are higher with IVF, as most implantations consist of several embryos that may lead to twins or more, which can be a more complicated pregnancy. However, once you understand the risks and benefits of IVF, you may decide that it is a good choice for you. Ensure that you have a caring and committed physician that can help you along each step of the way.
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