Monday, 22 October 2012

What is IVF and Egg Donation

IVF and Egg Donation

There has been a tremendous development in the field of human reproduction related treatment in the last 30 odd years and regularly new research and findings are getting published in medical journals.  There are many clinics worldwide that are providing treatment for all variants of infertility. International Fertility Centre located at Delhi with latest technology to make possibility of parenthood for thousands of childless couples seeking help. Dr. Rita Bakshi leads the team with a team of experts and provides all possible solutions for infertility, including In Vitro Fertilization or IVF!

What is an IVF?

In Vitro Fertilization or IVF is a process where fertilization takes place outside the uterus, typically in the laboratory. The word ‘Vitro’ means glass and it has the historical reference to the earlier days when glass dish or test tube was used to fertilize the eggs. With a long history of more than thirty years, IVF has been a successful treatment to make pregnancy possible for those couples where natural fertilization in the uterus is not possible.

When doctors use IVF?

There are multiple types of infertility problems with different solutions. According to Dr. Rita Bakshi of IFC, the decision to go for In Vitro Fertilization is taken when

  • The female has a problem of blocked fallopian tube or damaged fallopian tube resulting inability to transfer eggs from ovaries to the uterus.
  • The sperms in male have minor problem and it is unable to fertilize in the natural manner.
  • The couple has undergone fertility treatment, but no breakthrough has been achieved.
  • There is a case of unexplained infertility. In this scenario fertilization doesn’t take place in the natural manner while there is no apparent cause.

The process

IVF is certainly not an easy job and Doctors at infertility clinics have to work hard to make it successful. It is a complicated series of critical steps.

  • As the first and the foremost step, female partner has to take specific drugs to stimulate her ovaries.  As the natural process, only one egg is produced, but these drugs result production of multiple eggs to increase the probability of successful conception. These are special hormone stimulating drugs taken orally or through injection. There may be some side-effects like nausea, abdominal pain or restlessness can be experienced, but it happens rarely.
  • As the eggs are matured that can be determined by blood tests, doctors decide to retrieve them from the uterus for fertilization. Doctors will give mild anesthesia to make the process painless. Eggs will be removed from ovaries using a fine hollow needle. Patients face little discomfort or pain in the process, but it is quite bearable.
  • Fresh semen sample from the male partner is collected and the best sperms are chosen for fertilization process. The process happens in the laboratory.  Fertilized eggs are kept in an incubator and observed for next two to five days.
  • The female partner undergoes one more round of hormonal injections or drugs to make the uterus ready for implantation of embryo. The internal lining of uterus has to be thick enough so that embryo can get attached to the wall.  Special drugs make this lining thick.
  • Doctors would implant the best embryos in the uterus to increase the probability of conception. The number of embryos largely depends on the age of intended mother. Typically females with age less than 40 would have two embryos planted while for elderly women, there will be more than two embryos since the chances of successful pregnancy becomes weaker.
  • Doctors will examine the growth of embryo for next two weeks and then a pregnancy test will be done. In case everything goes fine, it comes as positive. There are cases where abnormal termination happens automatically, or it is done forcibly due to development problems. The process has to be reiterated in case this happens.
  • The complete process of IVF takes around four to six weeks. The procedures normally do not take more than half a day’s time and do not require any hospitalization while extraction of eggs. Implantation of embryo requires at least two to three days hospitalization. Frequent visits to the clinic for monitoring and follow-up are required.

Success rate of IVF

IVF has fairly high rate of successful pregnancy. However, there are factors like age of the intended mother; overall health and fitness, history of earlier successful pregnancies or childbirth affect a lot in achieving great result. A clinic like International Fertility Centre has many such success stories in the guidance of specialists like Dr. Rita Bakshi!

IVF: Pros and Cons

There are many couples that can’t conceive through natural method. IVF brings a great chance of enjoying parenthood of ‘own’ genetic baby.  The process is relatively safe with hardly any problems. Statistics do not show any qualitative difference between babies born through IVF and normal process.

There are many chances of multiple births because more than embryos are planted. This might result in babies born premature, or with less weight. In some cases there are side-effects of hormonal drugs. There is an increases risk of ectopic pregnancy that is embryo gets implanted in the fallopian tube, instead of in the uterus.

Egg donation 

Egg donation is normally combined with IVF. There are many cases where intended mothers are not capable of producing eggs or there is quality issue with eggs, then doctors suggest for egg donation. The only difference is, in this case eggs of donor are taken and fertilized with the sperm of intended father. The donor woman is either known or anonymous, depending on the choice of the intended parents. Donor woman has to go with IVF cycle for procurement of matured eggs. The role of intended mother starts after extraction of eggs.

IVF and egg donation have made revolution in the field of infertility treatment and there are thousands of childless couples are getting benefited every year. Well equipped clinics like International Fertility Centre and expert doctors like Dr. Rita Bakshi makes the process extremely safe and simple and chances of success very high!

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