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IVF Indications and IVF Treatment: A Boon for Childless Couples

| 13 Jun 2020 | 2685 Views |

In Vitro Fertilization and embryo transfer is one of the revolutionary treatment methods that have come with the advancement of medical science. Numerous couples who almost gave up hope for a child were blessed with healthy babies through the IVF process. This miraculous reproductive procedure performs to help in overcoming infertility and is directly involved in the resulting pregnancy.

Diagnosis progression and involuntary treatment took place due to in vitro fertilization and subsequent development of other related methods. The good success rate has become the reason why IVF is done by the IVF specialists in different corners of the world today.

Generally, the process involves the fertilization of an egg derived from ovarian follicles with embryos within the suitable condition of a laboratory. The IVF and embryo transfer process requires five basic steps.  Each successful implantation of retrieved eggs typically occurs after six to ten days which is termed as IVF cycle.

The first successful childbirth from an in vitro fertilization was reported in the year 1978. According to the Global statistics, approximately seven million fruitful pregnancies have been achieved through the IVF technique since then. The increased prospect rates along with accumulated experiences result in the expansion of the IVF indications worldwide.

More on IVF Indications

In the beginning, the main indication for IVF treatment was formulated for patients with diseased fallopian tubes (tubal factor). However, continuous research and analysis have established factors of several other IVF indications helping in identifying below important facts.

  • Fallopian tube damage or blockage: IVF has been a proven treatment in case of a damaged or blocked fallopian tube. This creates difficulty in fertilization for an egg or an embryo to travel to the uterus.
  • Tubal disease: In patients with a complaint of tubal ligation, a blocked or cut fallopian tube prevents pregnancy. IVF is the most desirable method to conceive.
  • Male factor: IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is another effective application of in vitro fertilization to reduce the rate of male infertility. ICSI is used to inject a sperm cell directly into the egg cell in case of low sperm counts.
  • Endometriosis: IVF is beneficial in treating patients with endometriosis as often they suffer from the malfunction of the ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes due to tissue implantation and growth outside the uterus.
  • Uterine fibroids: Fibroids and ovarian cysts are very common in women of middle age. They are a kind of tumor in the wall of the uterus and may obstacle the implantation of the fertilized egg. IVF is an effective method of treating these fibroids.
  • Ovulatory dysfunction: Patients with polycystic ovarian disease (PCOS) can be treated with IVF as there could be a possibility of failure for other methods. The IVF method is also quite successful for women with other ovulatory problems such as infrequent or absent ovulation where the availability of eggs is very less for fertilization.
  • Unexplained infertility: IVF can be a fruitful method for patients with no specific cause for their infertility (normal workup).
  • Genetic disorder: A genetic disorder that might have a possibility to pass on to the child from parents can be detected through a pre-implantation genetic test, a process that involves IVF.
  • Fertility preservation for cancer or other health conditions: IVF is a good alternative option for fertility preservation in case a woman is about to undergo cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy that may have an adverse effect on pregnancy.
  • Women who don’t have a functional uterus: An essential treatment of IVF is for women who are lacking a functional uterus or for whom pregnancy might involve some serious health risk. In such a case, the fertilized eggs are placed in the uterus of a gestational carrier.

In Vitro Fertilization is an expensive process. As a result, generally, it has been the last option to choose after attempting other less costly procedures.

Why IVF Treatment is Done?

There are certain medical conditions responsible for why IVF is done under the expert observation of IVF doctors.

The major reasons considered for the IVF treatment are:

  • The missing or having a blockage in the fallopian tube is a primary reason for considering IVF treatment.
  • IVF is required if the male sperm count is negligible or poor swimming ability or even if there is a need for surgical extraction of sperm from the testicles.
  • There is a significant reduction in the fertility of eggs in terms of both quality and quantity for a woman along with age. Hence, IVF is the only option left for women willing to have babies after a certain age.
  • In the cases of another type of infertility (e.g. endometriosis, ovulation disorders, unexplained infertility), and where other fertility methods were unable to produce the desired result.
  • IVF is also done if there is a chromosomal abnormality or any disease that has been inherited through genes. Pre-implantation diagnosis is performed to make sure of a successful pregnancy.
  • Eggs or embryos can be preserved for safe fertilization through the IVF methods if any of the partners are about to undergo cancer treatment such as chemotherapy as it might harm the egg or sperm.
  • Premature ovary failure results in no production of eggs. Donor eggs are required in such conditions through the IVF method.
  • Donor sperm is also needed in case of the same gender relationship.

The Key Indication for IVF Treatment

As a first initiative, doctors prescribe fertility medicines to accelerate egg production as the process requires multiple numbers of eggs. At this stage, an ovary examination is recommended through transvaginal ultrasound and blood test samples are taken for hormone level check.

The indication for IVF treatment is very important. It plays a vital role in increasing the chances of childbirth.

In the next step, a minor surgical procedure is conducted to restore the eggs. This might cause slight discomfort to the patient. However, proper medication can reduce and remove such irritations.

In the third step, sperm is prepared to combine with the egg under certain conditions in the laboratory.

In the fourth stage, the fertilization, a process called insemination, takes place at the lab that involves the mixing of sperm and eggs. An Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is used in case of a lesser possibility of fertilization to make sure the attempt turns into a successful process. The eggs are kept under constant observation at the lab and once the fertilization takes place the eggs are considered embryos.

In the last stage, the embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus after three to five days of retrieving and fertilization of eggs. The whole process generally doesn’t cause any complications, though; at times some patients may experience mild cramping.

The process of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is becoming popular day by day as a successful treatment to eradicate the infertility rate. However, to some extent, certain factors including reproductive history, maternal age, the cause of infertility, and lifestyle patterns are responsible for the success of IVF treatment.

The cases of infertility in males and females have been growing in the modern days due to many factors. The bad food habits, modern lifestyle, and busy schedule are the few important factors responsible for infertility in couples married recently or a few years back. There are many families who have lost hope of enjoying the happiness of a child. But today IVF Indication and treatment have truly proved to be a boon for thousands of childless couples.

Although there are many infertility clinics boosting satisfactory treatments, choosing the right infertility center and IVF doctor is highly essential.

The patients who are finding trouble in successful pregnancy through the natural reproduction cycle are suggested to seek consultation for IVF treatment. For the same, they can book online or physical consultations with highly experienced IVF Specialists like Dr. Richika Sahay Shukla at India IVF Infertility Clinic in Gurgaon and other cities in India.

About The Author
Dr. Richika Sahay

MBBS (Gold Medalist), DNB (Obst & Gyne), MNAMS, MRCOG (London-UK), Fellow IVF, Fellow MAS, Infertility (IVF) Specialist & Gynae Laparoscopic surgeon,[Ex AIIMS & Sir Gangaram Hospital, New Delhi]. Read more

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