If you or someone you love has struggled to have a child, you may have heard of various methods of artificial insemination and fertility options. You might have heard of in vitro fertilization and wondered “What is IVF?” The answer to this question could just be the answer you’re looking for.
What Is IVF?
The term “in vitro” simply means “in glass.” This is a method of fertilizing a human egg with sperm, but doing so outside the body in a glass dish. The embryo is then transferred back into a woman’s uterus, where the hope is that it will successfully attach and an otherwise normal pregnancy will follow.
Who Is a Good Candidate For IVF?
Certain conditions and issues make it more difficult for a woman to conceive. IVF can be a great choice for:
- Younger women who have not been able to conceive naturally after several years of trying
- Women with endometriosis
- Women with polycystic ovarian syndome
- Same-sex couples or single women who want a baby
- Couples suffering from male factor infertility
- Women with blocked or removed fallopian tubes
- Women who have already entered menopause
- Those who have tried artificial insemination already but failed to conceive
- Couples or individuals suffering from unexplained infertility
How Does It Work?
If you’ve been wondering “what is IVF?” you’ve probably also been wondering about how the process happens. The first step is hormone therapy. This stimulates the production of eggs. Hormone therapy usually means daily injections and, when the right moment arrives, a different injection designed to release the eggs. The goal is to make sure there are plenty of eggs available so that one will be fertilized.
Once the eggs are released they are collected by a small needle. The eggs are fertilized by placing them in a dish with thousands of sperm, or in some cases the sperm will be injected directly into the egg. The fertilized eggs are incubated for a few days and then implanted into the uterus.
What Happens to The Other Eggs?
Only a few eggs are implanted; so what happens with the others? These are typically frozen. This is because IVF is not always successful the first time around. If the first embryos do not successfully implant, the frozen ones can be used to try again. They can also be used if a family wants to have a sister or brother later. Some places will also allow you to donate embryos to couples where both partners are infertile or to single women.
What Is The Chance of Multiple Births?
If you’ve been in wondering “what is IVF” and looking for answers, you might have come across mention of multiple births. This is a risk with IVF, and approximately one in five IVF pregnancies is a multiple birth. This is something it’s worth discussing with your fertility clinic doctors should you choose to pursue IVF.
What is IVF? It’s a state-of-the-art treatment that has changed the lives of many people who otherwise could not conceive. Look into a reproductive clinic near you and find out more for yourself.