IN VITRO FERTILISATION (IVF TREATMENT)
IVF or In Vitro Fertilization is a medical procedure where the process of fertilization of the sperm and egg take place in a laboratory under a microscope. This is the technology that has proven to be the most effective method of assisted reproduction.
The term ‘in vitro’ literally means ‘in glass’ derived from the early biological experiments that involved cultivating tissues outside the organisms in beakers, test tubes or petri dishes. Similarly, any biological substance grown outside the living organism is termed as in vitro to distinguish it from in vivo procedure where the tissues grow normally inside the organism without any assistance.
Who Should Consider IVF Treatment?
Steps involved in In Vitro Fertilization treatment
There are five steps that sum up the procedure of IVF.
- In the first step, medicines are administered to the female to stimulate follicle growth and maturation. This method helps to grow several follicles simultaneously. These are regularly monitored by ultrasound and hormonal assays.
- The second step is the egg extraction process. This is done under anesthesia by means of a hollow needle that is passed through the pelvic cavity to extract the eggs. The process is done under ultrasound monitoring. The retreived eggs are then placed in a special media in the laboratory and incubated until insemination.
- In the third step, the male partner is asked to present sperm samples with which the egg shall be combined in the laboratory.
- In the fourth step, both the eggs and the sperm samples are mixed and stored till fertilization. The mixture is kept under constant observation. Once the eggs have been fertilized, they are then termed as embryos.
- In the final stage, after the egg is fertilized and the zygote is formed, it is cultured for three to five days and then can be considered for transfer to the uterus. Only one to three of the embryos are transferred at a time. If there are any remaining embryos they are frozen and stored for future use.
How effective is the process of IVF Treatment ?
- One cycle of IVF Treatment is completed in a span of four to six weeks. The success rate of IVF depends on the age of the woman. It has been found that the success rate of IVF Treatment is about forty percent in women under the age of thirty-five. Women under the age of thirty have a 46 % chance of conceiving after their very first cycle of IVF Treatment. With increasing age the success rate drops. Success also depends on many other factors like the cause of infertility, duration of infertility treatment and the treatment protocol used.