IVF Treatment is an option to increase the chance of getting pregnant
Do you find that you have tried all the other ways of increasing your chances of getting pregnant, and still not able to conceive? There is an option which is used for a multiple of problems that can occur from female or male infertility.
What Is IVF?
IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) is a procedure using assisted reproductive technology (ART) that is used to overcome a wide range of fertility issues.
The procedure involves joining the egg and sperm outside of the body, in an incubator. The fertilised egg (embryo) is allowed to grow for a few days and is then inserted directly into the woman’s uterus. This transfer is call an embryo transfer.
How does IVF work?
IVF can seem like a complicated process as it involves several steps, but Dr Sharon Li is confident in explaining the stages and process of IVF treatment.
If you are using your own eggs for the IVF process, you will begin with synthetic hormones (FSH) which will stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs compared to the one egg a month. This means more eggs can be collected which increases the chance of success as some eggs might not fertilise or develop.
Throughout this time, the response from the ovaries in monitored. To collect the eggs at the most appropriate time, regular blood tests and ultrasounds measure the size and number of the ovarian follicles.
Once the treatment monitoring has successful shown the eggs are at the optimum number and size, an injection of hCG (human chorionic gonatrophin) is given to trigger ovulation. This will make the eggs ready to collect 35-38 hours after.
Collection of the eggs is completed in day surgery, under sedation. This normally takes 3-4 hours.
On the morning of your egg collection, your partner will have to provide a fresh sperm sample to allow for instant fertilisation of the eggs.
The eggs collected are prepared for fertilisation and then are placed in a dish with the prepared sperm. The sperm is injected into the egg to begin fertilisation.
The egg and sperm are then incubated and kept at the same temperature as a human body and will be examined to determine if fertilisation has occurred. The embryos are grown in the lab for 2-5 days.
The embryo is transferred into the uterus through a transfer catheter. The embryos that are not used are stored and frozen and can be used if the first try was not successful.
The two- week period that comes after the transfer period and before the pregnancy test is known as the ‘Luteal phase’. A pregnancy blood test is taken to determine whether the IVF has been successful or not.
Am I suitable for IVF?
IVF helps to increase the chance of getting pregnant. It is a solution for a variety of problems that can be experience when trying to conceive a baby naturally.
If you are experiencing any of these problems, you may want to consider IVF to aid your dream of starting a family.
- Female fertility problems.
Including endometriosis, PCOS, fallopian tube damage or blockage
- Male fertility problems.
Such as low sperm count, ejaculation problems or infection damage
- Unexplained Fertility.
IVF offers an option if there is no explanation as to why you cannot conceive naturally
- A genetic disorder
This can apply to both partners, as there is a risk of passing on the genetic disorder to the child. IVF gives the option to be screened for certain genetic problems that can be found through screening. Once the embryo has been screened and is clear, it can then be transferred to the uterus.
- Fertility preservation for health conditions
If you are about to start treatment (such as cancer chemotherapy or radiation) this could damage your fertility. IVF allowed women to harvest their eggs and keep them frozen for a later date.
How common is IVF?
The procedure of IVF has been around for about 40 years and has become a common treatment for those who need extra help to have a baby. It is the most commonly used procedure for woman who have problems with their fallopian tubes or there is an unexplained fertility issue. It is also the primary treatment for women over the age of 40.
An estimated 6 million babies have been born around the world thanks to IVF.
What are the risks of IVF?
As all procedures, there could be some risks or complications that are involved with receiving IVF treatment.
- Multiple pregnancies
IVT can increase the risk of multiple birth if there is more than one embryo is implanted into the uterus. This could lead to complications such as premature delivery or low birth weight. 10-20% of cases have the chance of twins.
- Exaggeration of usual menstrual cycle symptoms
As the ovaries are being stimulated to produce more than one follicle, this could cause symptoms of the normal menstrual cycle to feel more severe (e.g., bloating and tenderness).
- Premature delivery or low birth weight
With IVF, there is a chance that there could be an increased risk of the baby being born early or have a low weight birth.
The risk of miscarriage with IVF treatment is similar to that of conceiving naturally, which is at 15-25%. If the procedure uses frozen eggs in the fertilisation process, there may be a slight increase in the risk of miscarriage.
- Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)
As there is the use of injectable fertility drugs to induce ovulation in the induction phase there is a chance of OHSS. This makes the ovaries swollen and painful.
- Increased risk of cancer
There is no proven increase of cancer (breast, ovarian, or uterine) with IVF treatment. The higher risk to women who have never been pregnant is the same.
IVF In Vitro Fertilisation Brisbane
If you want to begin your first steps towards IVF, then contact us to book an appointment where we can discuss your options!