Many women assume that when they stop using birth control pills or any other form of contraception, they will have difficulty conceiving, but in reality, your body takes just a bit of normal time that it would usually take, to adjust. In cases where you have been trying for a long time and haven't been able to conceive, there may be some reasons behind it, including age, stress, weight issues and sleep deprivation etc. But gladly there are many solutions as well. If ovulation is the issue, your doctor will suggest medication, that can help induce it. For a low sperm count, intrauterine insemination can be considered. The most sought after method nowadays is IVF or in vitro fertilization. In vitro means “outside the body”.
What is IVF?
In Vitro Fertilization is an assistive technology for reproduction. In this process, eggs are extracted and a sperm sample is taken and in a laboratory dish, these are both manually combined and fertilized. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus.
In what cases should IVF be used as a treatment?
If you're not able to conceive due to any of the following reasons, then IVF may be for you.
What should you know before an IVF treatment?
Before going through with the procedure, it would be helpful to review the facts once.
Firstly, as mentioned above, the patient is given fertility drugs to stimulate the production of eggs. Blood test and a transvaginal ultrasound are also performed to check the levels of hormones. Then, a surgical procedure is performed to retrieve the eggs. It is a minor surgery where using ultrasound imaging, a hollow needle is guided through the pelvic cavity in order to remove the eggs.
A sperm sample is then taken from the male in order to combine it with the eggs. This is then stored in a dish in a laboratory to encourage fertilization. If there is a lower chance of fertilization, in that case, a method called intracytoplasmic sperm injection might be used. A single sperm is directly injected into the egg, in this method. All of this is monitored to confirm fertilization. The eggs are considered as embryos once fertilization happens.
Three to five days post this, the embryos are transferred into the woman's uterus. To do so, a catheter is inserted into the uterus. Usually, this process is painless but you may experience a mild cramping. Implantation occurs around six to ten days after the egg retrieval if the procedure is successful. Bed rest is often advised for 24 hours after the IVF process.