In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Since the first IVF baby was born in 1978, IVF has become a viable option for couples who have been unable to conceive. According to the NHS, around 2% of babies born in the UK are conceived as a result of IVF.
What is IVF?
IVF stands for In Vitro Fertilisation. During IVF, eggs are removed from the ovaries of a woman (donor eggs may also be used). These eggs are fertilised with sperm either from the woman’s partner or from a sperm donor. The fertilised egg (embryo) is then returned to the woman’s uterus (womb) where it will hopefully grow and develop into a foetus. Two weeks after the embryo has been transferred, a pregnancy test can confirm whether the procedure has been successful.
Stages of IVF
Dr Rina Agrawal will perform a thorough assessment prior to beginning an IVF treatment cycle and depending on the results, advise patients on pre-treatment preparation as indicated.
- There is an initial phase of injections to stimulate the growth of multiple eggs (typically 12 to 14 eggs are obtained in each cycle)./li>
- The eggs are then collected through the vagina using ultrasound. The male partner usually would produce his sperm on the same day although depending on the individual circumstances sperm can be kept frozen at the clinic.
- The sperm and eggs are then cultured overnight in an incubator.
- The day following egg collection scientists check the eggs for signs of fertilisation. The fertilised eggs are allowed to develop for a further 48 hours until they reach the day 3 stage when we anticipate that the best embryos will have between 6 and 8 cells.
- Usually embryos will be transferred into your uterus at this day 3 stage but if you have many embryos on this day we may suggest that you undergo a blastocyst transfer.
Advantages of IVF
IVF is often the option which presents the highest chance of success for couples who experience infertility, or who may have other barriers to traditional conception and pregnancy. Since the first IVF baby was born in 1978, IVF has become a viable option for couples who have been unable to conceive. According to the NHS, around 2% of babies born in the UK are conceived as a result of IVF.
Is IVF for me?
IVF is likely to be recommended for those who suffer from certain fertility problems such as:
– Fallopian tubes that are damaged or blocked. This can prevent an egg from becoming fertilised and reaching the uterus.
– If your partner has mild problems with his sperm.
– If you have previously tried fertility drugs or less invasive fertility treatments with no success.
– If you have been trying to conceive naturally for at least two years without success.
Other options for exploring IVF include if you are a single woman who does not have a partner and wishes to have a baby, or if you are in a same-sex relationship. Donor sperm can help these women have babies.
Success rates of IVF
The Human Fertilisation and Embryo Authority (HEFA) publishes the success rates of IVF treatment. Success rates can depend on the age of the woman and the cause of infertility. As a guide, the success rate for women under 35 is around 29%, 23% for 35-37 year olds, 15% for 38-39 year olds, 9% for 40-42 year olds, 3% for 43-44 year olds, and just 2% for women aged 44 or over.
Pregnancy rates during IVF treatment are dependent on a number of factors such as the woman’s age, hormone levels, associated gynecological conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts and pre-existing medical conditions.
For more advice on how IVF treatment could help you to conceive, get in touch with us at FertilityOne2One today.