In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) helps millions of couples conceive every year! Did you know in the United States, 1 in every 100 women use IVF treatment to have a baby?
What Happens During IVF?
Before IVF treatment, your doctor may prescribe fertility medication to stimulate your ovaries and produce multiple eggs. More eggs means more chances to conceive. When you’re on the medication, your doctor will exam your hormone levels and ovaries to ensure you are producing eggs that are maturing in your ovarian follicles.
When the eggs are ready, they will be taken out with a thin needle by your physician. The egg will then combine with sperm to fertilize. The eggs are now embryos, and they will incubate for a few days. The embryos are monitored for their growth, and when they are ready, they will be implanted into your uterus to hopefully create a pregnancy.
During this time, you have be prescribed to take progesterone for a higher chance of healthy pregnancy. Every fertility practice is different- some physicians will transfer multiple embryos during the IVF treatment, while others will only transfer one. If you are under the age of 35, you would most likely only need 1 embryo.
Who is a Good Candidate for IVF?
Many women with blocked or removed fallopian tubes have success with IVF since it bypasses the fallopian tubes altogether. Women who have an infertility disorder, like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis are also good candidates for IVF as it helps to treat their infertility symptoms.
Women with irregular ovulation cycles may benefit from IVF, as the treatment induces ovulation to produce healthy eggs. If you don’t produce healthy eggs, you can certainly get an egg donor and undergo IVF treatment. Male factor infertility can also be treated with IVF. Men who have low sperm count may turn to an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) which only required 1 healthy sperm to fertilize an egg.
Who May Not Benefit from IVF?
If your ovaries do not produce healthy eggs, and you are not interested in getting a donor, you may have to explore other options outside of IVF. Also, if you are over the age of 37, it is more difficult to get pregnant with IVF. Donor eggs are a great alternative for women approaching 40 who want to increase their chances of pregnancy. About half of all women that attempt IVF with donor eggs are successful.
Any health conditions from either partner, including fibroid tumors, abnormal hormone levels, ovarian dysfunction or uterine abnormalities face a lower chance of getting pregnant with IVF.
Your IVF Journey
Everyone’s situation is unique and requires thorough examination before choosing the right treatment option. Work with your doctor, fertility practice, lawyers and counselors to determine the best route for your growing family that will be as stress-free and successful as possible.