Here some important questions along with answers which help you to get a solution of most asked question related with IVF
- What is infertility? When should couples go for IVF?
There are many causes of infertility are due to female and male factors.
Female factors which can be benefited by IVF are:
- Blocked fallopian tubes
- PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome)
- Premature ovarian failure
- Females over age of 40
Male factors which can be benefited by IVF:
- Reduced sperm motility
- Decreased sperm count
- Abnormal sperm structure
- Premature ejaculation
- Retrograde ejaculation
The full form of IVF is In Vitro Fertilization which means the fertilization is carried outside the body. Insemination which means meeting of sperm and the egg is done in a petri dish of a laboratory. For this procedure, eggs from the female are retrieved and at the same time sperms from the male partner are collected. After fertilization of the egg and sperm, the embryo is formed which is transferred in the womb of the female.
- Is there any age limit for IVF procedure?
The quality of egg decreases with age declines grossly after 35. The maximum age limit for IVF is 42 using her own eggs.
- What is the time required for an egg retrieval?
The length of egg retrieval process usually depends on the number of follicles matured. Egg retrieval procedure can take about 20-30 minutes.
- Will I feel any pain when the egg is retrieved?
No, the egg retrieval procedure is carried out under anesthesia. Female patient is asleep due to the heavy sedatives, given to her by anesthetists. You won’t feel any pain during egg retrieval.
- Can egg retrieval harm my ovaries?
There is no specific data available implying egg retrieval harms the ovaries. Women who underwent egg retrieval and after that laparoscopic surgery, the ovaries were found to be normal.
- What is stimulation of ovaries?
It is the first step in IVF. Fertility medications are given in the form of injections in the female which stimulates the ovaries to develop many follicles. Only one egg is released from ovaries normally. Fertility medicines induce the ovaries to produce many eggs.
- Is there any vaginal bleeding after egg retrieval procedure?
There is very slight bleeding similar to menstrual bleeding or less than that. The bleeding results due to the puncture site in the vagina. It is minor and need not be worried about.
- How many eggs are retrieved?
Eggs are retrieved from the most matured follicles. After ovulation induction, many follicles increase in size, but all of them may not carry eggs; some might have immature or post mature eggs.
- Will I have pain during embryo transfer?
It is not painful. The doctor will use a speculum to visualize the cervix; you will only feel the speculum.
ICSI stands for Intracytoplasmic sperm injection. When the sperm is directly injected into the female egg, it is called as ICSI. This process is done to increase the success of fertilization.
- Do I need complete bed rest after embryo is transferred?
Embryo swims in the womb for few days before actual implantation. Only prophylactic rest is advised which means avoid any kind of vigorous activities.
- Are all the embryos transferred in the womb?
All the embryos are not transferred .Usually 2-3 embryos are transferred. If the couple wishes them to be preserved for future use, they are cryopreserved.
- When should I do a pregnancy test after IVF?
A pregnancy test will be positive after the hormone hCG which finalizes egg maturation comes in the urine and blood which in itself takes about 9 to 10 days. Hence between 12 to 14 days the pregnancy test will be positive.
- What are the restrictions during an IVF procedure?
Stop smoking and drinking alcohol at least 3 months before an IVF procedure. Smoking during pregnancy is hazardous for the growing fetus. It may result in low birth weight baby and congenital disabilities. Smoking also affects the pregnancy rate.
Inform your physician about all the medications you are taking. Over-the-counter medicines affect the fertility medications. Few of them are not safe during ovulation or implantation.
Rigorous exercises or any activities are prohibited during the entire procedure.
Stress is inevitable during IVF cycle. Couples must seek advice from psychologist/personnel counselor or talk with friends and family members for support.
- If I become pregnant, what are the steps to take?
Your doctor will advise few blood tests, ultrasound to keep a check on successful pregnancy. An obstetrician will guide you further once the fetal heartbeat is confirmed.
- Does IVF increase the chance of abortion?
The abortion rate is same when compared to females conceived naturally. Although elder females undergone IVF have high risk of miscarriage.
- What affects sperm quality?
Sperm development takes about 3 months. Hence the health during the 3 months has to be monitored.
Sperm quality is affected by following conditions:
- High-grade fever hinders in the fertilization process. Immediate help from the physician must be taken to lower the temperature.
- Alcohol and smoking.
- Any prescription drugs apart from advised by IVF specialist.
- Sitting in hot spas, Jacuzzis, tubs or saunas
- Vigorous workout routine
- Supplements containing testosterone, DHEA usually given in gym.
- Genital herpes
- What is the success rate of IVF?
There are various factors which influence successful IVF:
- Age of woman- Increasing age decreases the success rate.
- Quality of sperm
- Response to the fertility medicines
- Number of embryos implanted in the womb.
Usually success rates are 60 % depending on center to centre .
- What are the side-effects of IVF?
The minor side-effects during the egg retrieval procedure are an infection, bleeding, and pain. These are usually mild and are resolve with appropriate care and treatment.
Hormonal injections give to female may cause ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome. There might be pain associated with bloating and uncomfortable feeling. These are self-limiting symptoms and go away with time.
The major risk of IVF are an ectopic pregnancy (implantation occurs in fallopian tubes), blood pressure disturbances, gestational diabetes and multiple pregnancies.
Multiple pregnancies may lead to abortion, premature delivery and affect the health of mother or child.