About In Vitro Fertilization – Fertility Treatment Information
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most popular fertility treatment available today. Over 45,000 babies conceived through in vitro fertilization are born in the United States every year. Many couples turn to in vitro fertilization to help with conception if the woman suffers from blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, or ovulation problems, or if the man has a low sperm count. Considered an assisted reproduction technology (ART) method, IVF is a process where an ovum is fertilized in a laboratory and then transferred to the uterus of the female patient.
What to Expect
Your doctor will give you a fertility drug that you should take close to the beginning of your menstrual cycle. This drug will assist your ovaries in developing mature eggs that will be harvested for fertilization. While your eggs mature, your doctor will closely monitor your ovaries and hormone levels to determine the best possible time to remove the eggs.
When the eggs are ready, they will be removed through the vaginal wall using a very fine needle. Your doctor will give you an anesthetic to help you relax during this phase of the IVF procedure. The sperm from your partner and the mature eggs will be combined in a laboratory dish to fertilize.
After a few days, your doctor will take a few (normally two to four) of the new embryos and insert them into your uterus through a catheter. For the IVF treatment to be successful, one of these embryos must implant into the uterine wall. Within two weeks, a pregnancy test should determine whether in vitro fertilization has worked.
As with any medical procedure, there are a few risks associated with in vitro fertilization. Patients should be prepared for the possibility that the IVF treatment won’t work in its first cycle. Also, since two to four embryos are implanted during the procedure, the chance for multiple births is higher.
Age can play a factor in the success rate of in vitro fertilization. The younger you are, the better your chance of getting pregnant. On average, roughly 35 percent of women will become pregnant through in vitro fertilization.