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How IVF Treatment Brings in Fertility, Pregnancy and Motherhood It is the process that helps with fertility and it even prevents the myriads of genetic problems via embryo screening that might even occur with a natural pregnancy

By Kshitiz Murdia

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Thousands of women dream of becoming biological mothers but are unable to do so by natural means. Does that mean they should stop dreaming?

Certainly not! Thanks to IVF (in vitro fertilization) methods, millions of women across the globe have realized their dreams of becoming mothers, even at advanced ages (up to 40 years). IVF brings fertility and motherhood to the lives of all the women who want a child of their own.

IVF is a complex process that requires the guidance of a qualified and experienced Infertility and IVF expert. It is the process that helps with fertility and it even prevents the myriads of genetic problems via embryo screening that might even occur with a natural pregnancy.

How can IVF help infertile couples?

Here's how IVF can help with the conception of a child – During IVF the expert collects the mature ova from the mother and facilitates artificial fertilization in a laboratory.

Then the expert transfers the fertilized ova (embryos) into the uterus of the recipient mother.

There are several steps in between that include screening the embryos for potential genetic or chromosomal disorders. In many cases, the expert transfers blastocyst stage (5 to 6 days old) embryos instead of 2-3 day old embryos to ensure successful implantation.

Typically, one cycle of IVF can take about 3-6 weeks.

IVF can be your way to motherhood if you or your partner has one or more of the following conditions –

  1. Endometriosis

  2. Low Ovarian Reserve

  3. Fallopian tube blockage or damage

  4. Impaired sperm function or production

  5. Sterilization or ligation

  6. A heritable genetic condition

  7. Cancer or other severe health problems

How does IVF contribute to pregnancy?

You should always talk to your doctor about how many fertilized embryos will be transferred. Several IVF clinics follow strict rules of transferring only two embryos to the uterus. Other successfully fertilized ova are frozen for any use in the future. Cryopreservation makes future IVF cycles less expensive.

The transfer of the embryo is typically painless and does not require anesthesia. If your doctor decides that anesthesia is required, he or she will inform you before the transfer.

The embryo transfer is a simple step. After the procedure, no or minimal rest is required. Some side effects like –

  1. Very mild cramping

  2. Mild bloating

  3. Tenderness of breast tissue due to high estrogen

  4. Some constipation

Are normal. If you feel additional discomfort, you should always seek out your doctor immediately.

An embryo can take between 6 and 7 days to attach (implant) itself to the uterine wall.

After around 12 days, your doctor will take a sample of your blood to determine if you are pregnant. If you are, after 14 days the doctor will ask you to undergo ultrasonography to confirm the viability & location of the pregnancy.

In case you aren't pregnant, you shouldn't lose hope. Remember that women have only 3 in 5 chances of becoming pregnant after a cycle of IVF. The IVF expert can use the cryopreserved embryo for another cycle of IVF if you want to go for it. Before that, your doctor might ask you to stop taking the progesterone. You can further consult with an IVF expert for increasing your chances of pregnancy and motherhood through IVF.

What factors determine the chances of motherhood via IVF?

Motherhood is a wonderful feeling. No one who wants to be a mother should be deprived of such a feeling especially when they can access IVF.

However, your or your partner's chances of becoming a mother via IVF depends on several factors including –

  1. Maternal age – IVF is typically more successful in younger mothers. Women over 40 years of age often have much lower chances of becoming pregnant via IVF. Women over the age of 40 often see better outcomes when they use donor eggs (the donor being a much younger woman).

  2. Lifestyle –women suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, or obesity can lower the chances of success of IVF. In fact, smoking can reduce the chances of IVF success significantly.

  3. Reproductive history – women who have given birth before are more likely to see success after a single cycle of IVF.

  4. The status of embryos – less-developed embryos (2 or 3 days old) have a lower chance of successful implantation than blastocyst stage embryos.

It is indeed possible to ring the joy of fertility, pregnancy, and the bliss of motherhood in your life via IVF techniques. However, you must keep in mind that the success rate of IVF in every woman is not 100%, it is a time-consuming and expensive process, and a number of factors govern the chances of its success.

Talk to an IVF expert at the clinic to prepare for an IVF cycle and improve your chances of success during the first cycle itself.

Kshitiz Murdia

Medical Director, Indira IVF

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