Everything You Need To Know About IVF: Benefits, Risk Factors And Complications

Everything You Need To Know About IVF: Benefits, Risk Factors And Complications

The wish to become a parent can be very overwhelming. It is natural to feel the need to have your own offspring and be responsible for his or her upbringing. While nature allows us to reproduce, for some couples, conceiving can be troublesome and daunting. Following the modern lifestyle, it has been proved that the fertility of both men and women has declined. 

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Many couples put their trust in IVF treatment to get pregnant. While this is a safe and trustworthy process, understanding it completely requires thorough research. When it comes to a child, no parent wants to take any risk. So, here is a complete guide to IVF:

What is IVF?

Everything You Need To Know About IVF

In Vitro Fertilisation, commonly known as IVF, is a process that helps to overcome female infertility. In some cases, it can also help with male infertility. ‘In Vitro’ is a Latin word which means ‘in glass’. The procedure got this name as the early experiments were carried out in glass containers like test tubes, beakers and Petri dishes.

IVF is a process in which the egg is fertilised outside the body of the mother. Since the procedure is mostly carried out in test tubes, a baby conceived through IVF is also known as a test tube baby.  The embryo thus developed in the glass container is re-planted inside the womb of the mother.

Everything You Need To Know About IVF

Duke Fertility Centre defined IVF as the procedure in which “the eggs are fertilized either by placing sperm on the eggs or by injecting a single sperm into each egg using a technique referred to as 'intracytoplasmic sperm injection.”

The procedure involves preparing the body of the mother to nurture a child and then fusing the eggs collected from the female with the sperms collected from her partner in a test tube. This zygote is kept in a tube in an environment which is similar to that of a womb. This artificial environment is created with the help of an incubator. After 5-8 days, the embryo is transferred in the womb of the mother. At this stage, the embryo is still invisible to the naked eyes. It is made of about 150-180 cells. Once the embryo is transferred to the womb, it develops inside the mother. Now the rest of the pregnancy will happen in a normal way. The womb of the mother nurtures the baby by carrying it for the rest of the term of the pregnancy.

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How did it start?

Everything You Need To Know About IVF

If you think that IVF is a new concept then you are highly mistaken. The only reason why you have been listening more about it is that the change in the lifestyle has increased the cases of infertility. IVF was first developed in the mid-1970s. The first successful IVF birth was recorded in 1978 in Manchester when Louise Brown was born. The second successful IVF birth took place in India when a girl named Durga was born just 67 days after the birth of Louise Brown.

Since then, doctors and scientists have been working closely on the IVF treatment to ensure the chances of its success. 

What you need to know about the IVF treatment

Everything You Need To Know About IVF

IVF is a ray of hope for those couples who want to conceive their child instead of going for surrogacy and adoption. It helps you to enjoy the experience of being pregnant. IVF is basically assisted fertilisation as parents only take help of technology in the first stage of pregnancy. While IVF is a blessing, it does not come with any guarantee. Here is what you should know about this treatment:

#1. It is not a treatment

The first thing you need to know about IVF is that it is not actually a treatment. IVF does not cure or rectify the reasons that are keeping you from conceiving naturally. It does not treat the root cause of why a couple is not getting pregnant. It just assists the couple in having a baby. There are chances that you have to resort to IVF for your second pregnancy as well.

#2. It is not a miracle

Everything You Need To Know About IVF

Couples often put their trust in IVF because clinics tend to give them false hope. Yes, IVF can help you to get pregnant but it does not guarantee that. You may not get pregnant at the first trial. There are possibilities that you will conceive at the first chance but there are also possibilities that you might not be able to conceive through this process at all.

#3. It is time-consuming

IVF is a time-consuming process. You have to regularly visit your doctor. It is a labour-intensive process which will definitely stretch for more than your regular term of pregnancy. The doctor will give you a lot of medicines to make your body strong enough to bear a child. Your blood, body temperature and your uterus will be monitored regularly. An ultrasound will be waiting for you almost every day.

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#4. You need to do some homework

Everything You Need To Know About IVF

Before you drop at the clinic for your first cycle, it is better to do some work on your own. The success rate of IVF is directly proportional to the well-being of your body. Make sure that you are neither underweight nor obese. Cut down your alcohol intake. Eat healthy food and keep yourself active. This is the least you can do on your own before you go for IVF.

#5. It is expensive

IVF treatment is not at all budget friendly. Your insurance company won’t cover it. Since there are chances that you might have to sit for more than one cycle, you should be prepared for the cost. It is generally advised to have a budget of at least 3 cycles. You have to consider this part before you go for your first cycle.

#6. There can be complications

Just like every pregnancy, IVF pregnancy comes with mood swings, cravings and other related changes. However, the intensity of these things will be much more in IVF pregnancy because your body will be pumped with hormones. We have explained all the challenges of IVF in the later segment.

Benefits of IVF

Everything You Need To Know About IVF

Since IVF is assisted fertilisation, you get the freedom to choose a lot of things which are not possible in a natural pregnancy. IVF has many benefits and some of them are as follows:

#1. Selection of character

IVF involves scanning of chromosomes which allows the parents to select the characters of the child. You can choose the characters that you would want to pass on to your child. You can have an almost perfect child because of IVF.

#2. Passing on of diseases

The selection of character also allows parents with chronic diseases Hepatitis and aids to have a healthy baby. Doctors do not allow the defected genes and the diseases to pass on to the next generation which results in a healthy baby.

Types of IVF Treatment

Everything You Need To Know About IVF

There are various types of IVF treatments. Depending on the health condition, complication and age of the parent, the best treatment are chosen for you. These are the following treatments which are available:

  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation
  • Natural IVF
  • Egg Retrieval
  • Final Maturation Induction
  • Co-incubations

Is IVF the correct treatment for you?

Everything You Need To Know About IVF

Not everyone who wants to have a child can put their money on IVF as it is not suitable for everyone. It is a good option for those females whose fallopian tubes make it difficult to get pregnant. Other than that, it also works when the male’s sperm quality is on the downside. In such cases, sperms that have a low mortality rate are directly injected into the eggs to increase the chances of getting pregnant.

IVF can also help singles and member of the LGBTQ community to become parents. Moreover, it also gives a chance to cancer survivors, people with lupus and women have gone through menopause to become parents. In such cases, frozen eggs of the female are brought back to life again once they are ready to become mothers. Even women over 50 can hope to become mothers because of IVF.

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Risks and complications

Everything You Need To Know About IVF

IVF is an invasive procedure which means that there will be some complications and risks involved. Here is all you need to know about them:

#1. Multiple births

In IVF, multiple embryos are planted in the womb of the female. This is done to increase the chances of the development of any one of the embryos. In some cases, more than one embryo develops which can lead to weak babies, loss of pregnancy and prematurity.

#2. Premature births and miscarriage

Since IVF only helps in the formation of the embryo, the things that were earlier keeping you from having a baby can still pose a threat. Sometimes the uterus remains to be hostile and cannot keep a baby. In such cases, the chances of premature birth and miscarriages are high.

Everything You Need To Know About IVF

#3. High risk of OHSS

OHSS or Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome is not uncommon in females who go through the process of IVF. The fertility drugs can cause a female to make excess eggs. Blotting, swelling, breast tenderness and feeling nauseous are common symptoms of OHSS. Dizziness and shortness of breath are also common symptoms.

#4. Emotional well-being

When you go for IVF, you are pumped with hormones that can make you prone to mood swings. These are not normal mood swings as their intensity is at least 10 times more. Your emotional instability can affect your work, interaction with others and the way you generally behave. Irrespective of the result of the treatment, IVF can emotionally drain you.

Everything You Need To Know About IVF

#5. Common abnormalities

While a child born through IVF is generally healthy because of genetic selection, there are a few common abnormalities that are found in these kids. This includes cleft lip, septal heart defects, cleft palate and anorectal atresia.

Next Read: Everything You Need To Know About IVF Treatment Before Opting For It

In Vitro Fertilisation comes with a lot of cons and pros but this cannot be neglected that this is a ray of hope for those couples who desperately want to welcome a new life into their house. It is a safer option when you want to have a child of your own. Yes, IVF does not guarantee that you will have a child but it increases your chances by a good margin. Becoming a parent is not just a dream now. We have summed up everything that you need to know about IVF. The final call is yours.

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