IVF (IN VITRO FERTILIZATION)
The process of union of egg and sperm is called fertilization. It is one of the beautiful wonders of nature and occurs inside the fallopian tubes of woman. In a finely orchestrated sequence, the fertilized egg then travels to the uterus and getts settled there as the early embryo, which leads to the begining of pregnancy.
However in some couples,these steps fail to occur in natural way. IVF is a specialized method which comes to the rescue of such couples and helps them to achieve conception.
The process of IVF estencially involves the formation of a large number of eggs which are removed from the ovary and union with sperms occurs outside the body. The embryos thus formed are transferred to the woman's uterus to achieve a normal pregnancy.
- Tubal Problems - a woman's fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged, which could be due to infection, tuberculosis, previous tubal pregnancy, endometriosis, tubectomy.
- Severe endometriosis which affects tubal function, fertilization as well as implantation of embryo in the uterus.
- Unexplained infertility - where conception fails to occur inspire of both partners being healthy and all tests being normal.
- No pregnance after repeated cycles of IUI.
- Patients who stop having regular menses or those whose eggs / ovaries are damaged by surgery or disease, can became pregnant by IVF using donor eggs.
- Prolonged infertility of any cause not responding to routine treatment.
- Infertility in women with age more than 40 years or after menopause.
- The basic investigations of the coupl are done including semen tests, ovarian and uterine cavity assessment.
- The patients is given daily injection of fertility hormones (hMG/FSH) for 8-12 days which lead to the development of eggs in ovaries. Injections can be taken at home or self-administered. Patients visit the centre 3-5 times during these days when the formation of eggs is checked by ultrasound.
- Laser injection for final maturation of eggs (human chorionic gonadotrophin) is given when the follicles have reached optimum size.
- Eggs are removed 34-36 hours after the last injection.
- The process of egg retrieval or collection orf eggs is done under sedation and anaesthesia so as to cause no discomfort to the patient. The eggs are removed from the ovary by using a needle attached to ultrasound probe.
- The eggs are placed close to sperms so that union of egg and sperm takes place. Embryo are formed which start dividing and became 4 to 6 cell. At this stage, 2-3 healthy embryo are placed inside the uterus.
- Pregnancy is confirmed by a blood test done 14 days after the embryo transfer.
- The pregnancy thus conceived is just like any other normal pregnancy and does not require any special precautions or bed rest.