When a couple conceives naturally, sperm from the man and the egg from the woman meet in the woman’s fallopian tubes. These are the tubes that join the ovaries to the uterus (womb). One sperm penetrates the egg, fertilizes it and forms an embryo.
IVF is the original ‘test-tube’ baby technique. The process of fertilisation happens outside the woman’s body. A woman’s eggs are surgically removed and fertilised in a laboratory using sperms in the husband’s semen sample. The fertilized egg called an embryo is then surgically implanted into the woman’s womb. One IVF cycle will take between four to seven weeks.
How does it work?
In order to start IVF treatment, a course of hormone therapy is used to stimulate the development of several follicles in the ovary. These are collected as eggs, which are then fertilized in a test-tube (‘in vitro’) to create several embryos. After between two to five days in an incubator, one or two of these embryos are transferred through the vagina into the uterus, where implantation occurs and pregnancy begins. However, in IVF as in natural conception, not every embryo implants to become a pregnancy, which is why surplus embryos are frozen – so that a subsequent transfer might be tried if the first one fails. Freezing is now an essential part of every clinic’s IVF programme.
Please click on link below to view video 3D animation of how IVF works
To watch in Hindi – click on link below
IVF Risks and Side effects
– Multiple pregnancy is the most widely reported “side effect”. It has health risks for both the mother and children as twins or triplets are more likely to be born prematurely and to be underweight at birth.
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)
– There is also a very small risk that some women may over-react to the hormone drugs used to stimulate the ovaries, usually between 1-2%. Usually this is monitored via ultrasound and hormone monitoring during the drug treatment phase ovaries enlarge and become painful, causing abdominal discomfort. More severe cases can lead to shortness of breath, fluid retention in the abdominal cavity and formation of blood clots. In these cases, you may need a stay in hospital.
– Egg collection can be uncomfortable and is often performed with a local anaesthetic. There is a risk of introducing infection into the body when eggs are removed from the woman. The process involves a fine needle being passed through the vagina and into the ovaries.
Please click on link below to view video of IVF egg collection. 3D/4D Ultrasound –guided Embryo Transfer.
Single Embryo Transfer
Because the transfer of two or more embryos is associated with multiple pregnancy, there has been a determined effort in recent years to cut this multiple rate by transferring just one embryo and freezing the remainder.
As with other type of fertility treatment, success rates in IVF decline once patients reach the age of 35 or so. Before that, IVF pregnancy rates at the Aarti Fertility and Gynae Centre are around 50% per cycle.