IVF, or in vitro fertilisation, is one of many assisted reproductive techniques designed to help infertile couples experience the joy of motherhood and parenthood. Fertility problems may be caused by poor functioning of the reproductive system and before undergoing in-vitro fertilisation the couple must undergo many medical examinations and pass many tests. If conventional treatment does not succeed or there are serious problems with the reproductive system, IVF treatment is recommended.
Some of the serious reproductive problems which may indicate in-vitro fertilisation treatment include:
- Complete obstruction of the fallopian tubes;
- serious ovulation disorders;
- Partner’s sperm of poor quality.
In addition to this, serious problems in trying to conceive are often encountered by women over 40 years of age due to the natural aging of the reproductive system. This is why quite a large number of women who decide to have a baby after 40 or 45 years of age have to go to a reproductive surgeon for in-vitro fertilisation.
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ECO: HOW IT HAPPENS
The essence of in-vitro fertilisation is that an egg is taken from a woman’s body in order to conceive. It is an uncomplicated and safe procedure which is necessary so that the egg is fertilised under artificial laboratory conditions and the doctors can observe the development process. In this way the chance of normal development of the embryo is significantly increased. Before an egg is taken out of a woman’s body, both partners undergo a considerable amount of preparatory work in order to improve the quality of the woman’s eggs and the man’s sperm. Once the egg is extracted, sperm is taken from the partner and the egg is fertilised using that sperm. This is done artificially in a laboratory under the strict supervision of professional fertility specialists, which greatly increases the chances of success.
Once fertilized, the embryo will be cultured for a few days until it has matured enough to be transferred to the uterus. The embryo will then be diagnosed and if healthy it will be transferred to the uterus of the patient. The pregnancy then develops naturally.
The effectiveness of IVF is not only due to the fact that the egg is fertilised outside the woman’s womb. It is also the fact that prolonged laboratory monitoring helps to detect abnormalities in the foetus, including chromosomal abnormalities if any are observed. This problem is particularly common in women over 40 – they may not even be aware that they have been pregnant, because a fetus with a chromosomal abnormality is quickly rejected by the body. And the number of such abnormalities in mature women increases every year. In turn, a timely and correct diagnosis makes it possible to plan the correct infertility treatment to give the couple as good a chance of success as possible.
After the transfer of embryos, an individual hormonal treatment is administered to support the early stages of pregnancy, especially if the woman is over 40 and her body cannot take the strain. The success of IVF treatment can be assessed after just 12 days, when the reproduction specialist carries out the first test to find out whether the embryo has taken root or not. An enormous number of problems relating to the inability to conceive due to reproductive system diseases can be solved through IVF. Every year thousands of children are born through in vitro fertilisation, giving hope to all infertile couples in the world.