Infertility is an issue that you find many couples suffering from. There may be several reasons why one cannot get pregnant naturally. However, many couples battling infertility choose alternate methods of pregnancy. One of them is IVF pregnancy.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) as a conception method has become popular recently. The method involves extracting eggs from the ovaries and mixing them with sperm. The fertilized eggs are then directly placed in the uterus. Now, as a process, this is distinct from a natural pregnancy.
The risks, complications, and due process after placing the sperm in the uterus are the same.
So, through this article, we wish to educate you a little more about IVF pregnancy and answer a few of your questions.
What Is IVF Pregnancy?
People generally have this question – What is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). In Vitro Fertilization is a process where a male’s sperm fertilizes a female’s eggs outside their body in a laboratory dish. In this process, extraction of both eggs and sperm takes place and then doctors keep the sperm in close vicinity to the eggs. Or The process of fertilization can also occur with the injection of sperm inside the egg. Either way, after this process is complete, the best, healthy-looking eggs (or embryo, after 24 hours) are placed in the mother’s uterus for them to develop.
One complete cycle of IVF takes approximately three weeks. Sometimes, the process can further split into more steps and, hence, take longer. This procedure takes place using a couple’s eggs and sperm. Or the couple can have an anonymous donor. This donor can be someone who has another couple’s embryo placed in their uterus.
The success rates of IVF pregnancy depend on many things, from age to the reasons for infertility. It is a long-standing and expensive process, let alone invasive too.
Risks Involved In An IVF Pregnancy
IVF involves several risks like:
- Multiple pregnancies: Which is having twins or triplets. The reason behind being multiple embryos placed in the uterus. The probability of sustaining multiple pregnancies is that of twenty per cent.
- Premature delivery and undernourished baby: As suggested by research, the risk of a baby weighing low or having a premature delivery increases a little under IVF.
- Miscarriage: The chances of having a miscarriage while conceiving through IVF are almost similar to that of natural pregnancy. That is about 15%-25%, but this increases if the conceiving mother is old.
- Complications during egg extraction: When the doctor uses a needle to extract eggs from one’s body during IVF, it might lead to complications. They may include bleeding, infection or damage to the bowel, blood vessel, or uterus.
- Ectopic Pregnancy: About 2% to 5% of women who go through IVF might have an ectopic pregnancy. The eggs get placed outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. These eggs cannot survive anywhere but the uterus. Hence, if they get placed outside it, the pregnancy cannot continue.
Processes Involved Under IVF Pregnancy
The process of IVF takes about 3-6 weeks. However, one might require more than one cycle of IVF, given the success rate. IVF as a process involves these steps:
- Superovulation: Superovulation involves one taking hormone drugs that make one’s ovaries produce more eggs than usual. Ultrasounds help to monitor the production of the same.
- Retrieval of eggs: A minor surgery known as “egg retrieval” surgery helps collect eggs. In this process, with the help of ultrasound, the needle is inserted into the vagina into the ovary. And then, it extracts the eggs from the ovary.
- Fertilization of eggs: Then they keep the extracted eggs together with the sperm in an environmentally controlled place. Within a few hours, ideally, the sperm should enter the egg. However, there are times when they inject the sperm into the eggs. As the eggs fertilize, it then becomes an embryo. During the transfer of the embryo, doctors use the best quality eggs.
- Embryo transfer: The transfer of an embryo is a complicated process. It is highly advisable to transfer only one embryo. It is imperative to ask the doctor about the number of embryos one can transfer. The transfer of more than one embryo can have several risk factors. The embryo transfer takes place around 3 to 5 days after fertilization. And when the embryo embeds into the uterus lining, pregnancy begins.
The process of IVF pregnancy is time-consuming, expensive, and exhausting. Hence one should think about the process of IVF thoroughly. Only after a great deal of thought as a couple you should conclude that you want to move forward with IVF.
Here’s a breakdown of the types and costs involved in an IVF pregnancy in India.
Analyzing risk factors and making calculated financial decisions are again very imperative processes of IVF. Still, it has given the joy of parenthood to many childless couples.