We all likely know somebody who has had struggles getting pregnant. There are many different ways to help a person preserve fertility. One popular choice is in vitro fertilization, also called IVF. IVF is a process with approximately five key steps. These steps are done in the hope of helping a woman become pregnant and have a successful pregnancy.
Who is IVF good for?
IVF is widely used to assist a woman in becoming pregnant. Helping prepare the woman’s body and helping the egg get fertilized, IVF is an assisted reproductive technology that aids in embryo development and implantation. If someone has had struggles getting pregnant for various reasons, IVF might be right for them.
There are a few medical conditions that can result in damaged reproductive parts. People with these struggles can benefit from IVF. Infertility can occur because of reasons, such as ovulation disorders, uterine fibroids, damaged fallopian tubes or male infertility due to decreased sperm count.
How does it work?
IVF begins with important diagnostic testing. Finding the reason that pregnancies have not happened in the past is the best way to decide what steps need to be taken. If IVF is suitable, the first step is to assist in the production of eggs. This could be by getting regular tests and measuring hormone levels to keep track of egg numbers. Once there are enough viable eggs, they will be removed from the body in an egg retrieval procedure. This is done at a doctor’s office or fertility clinic and is considered minor surgery.
The eggs are then taken to the lab and sperm is introduced. The sperm can be from a partner or a donor. This insemination phase involves the egg and sperm meeting and fertilizing. In the case of the previously mentioned male factor sperm issues such as low count for motility problems, the sperm can be injected right into the egg to help with the fertilization phase.
If fertilization occurs, an embryo will hopefully be made. This embryo is then transferred to the uterus via the cervix. The hope is that the embryo attaches to the uterus to begin pregnancy. The transfer of the embryo is also done at a doctor’s office or fertility clinic. Depending on the situation, the doctor may suggest pills or shots of certain hormones to help the embryo transfer be successful.
What else is important to know?
IVF can change the lives of many women for the better. The procedure and treatment are common in the world of preserving fertility, and for good reason. Of course, there are potential side effects or symptoms that can occur during IVF. This can potentially include cramps, bloating, infection or allergic reaction to medications.
IVF isn’t for everyone, but it may be right for you. Having an open line of communication with your doctor or a fertility specialist can help you make the best decision. They will take everything into account and know how to best help you.
Everyone’s situation is unique to them, so it is important that you fully understand the process and that you share all of your questions and concerns with your fertility team.