Everything You Should Know About IVF in Brief
In general, you visit a fertility or IVF clinic in Nepal or neighbourhood when you notice anything wrong with your ability to conceive a child. After interacting with you and going through the reports of your fertility assessment, a respective doctor suggests IVF treatment. As a couple, you should know it. Here is what you should know about IVF.
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What is IVF?
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that is used to help couples conceive a child when natural conception is not possible or is unlikely to occur. IVF involves fertilising an egg outside the body in a laboratory and then transferring the resulting embryo into the uterus.
Who is a candidate for IVF?
IVF is usually recommended for couples who have been trying to conceive for a year or more without success, or for those who have specific fertility issues such as blocked fallopian tubes, male factor infertility, or endometriosis.
How does IVF work?
IVF involves several steps – ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, sperm extraction, fertilisation, embryo development and transfer, and pregnancy test. The successful completion of all these processes make females have conception and give birth to a baby after or around nine months.
What are the success rates for IVF?
The success rates for IVF vary depending on several factors such as the woman’s age, the cause of infertility, and the number of embryos transferred. On average, the success rate for a single IVF cycle is around 30%.
What are the risks associated with IVF?
IVF is generally considered safe, but it does carry some risks such as:
- Multiple pregnancy – IVF increases the risk of multiple pregnancies, which can lead to complications such as premature delivery and low birth weight.
- Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) – In some cases, the fertility medications used to stimulate the ovaries can cause OHSS, a condition characterised by enlarged ovaries, fluid accumulation in the abdomen, and other symptoms.
- Ectopic pregnancy – IVF increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy, a condition in which the embryo implants outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube.
- Birth defects – Although the risk of birth defects is slightly higher with IVF than with natural conception, the absolute risk is still relatively low.
How much does IVF cost?
The cost of IVF varies depending on several factors such as the location, the clinic, and the number of cycles required. On average, the cost of a single IVF cycle is around INR 90 000 – 1 50 000, and most couples require multiple cycles to achieve a successful pregnancy.
Are there any alternatives to IVF?
There are several alternatives to IVF, depending on the cause of infertility. Some of these alternatives include:
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI): IUI involves placing sperm directly into the uterus using a catheter, in order to increase the chances of fertilisation.
- Donor sperm or egg: In cases of severe male or female infertility, donor sperm or eggs can be used for fertilisation.
- Surrogacy: In cases where the woman cannot carry a pregnancy to term, a surrogate can carry the pregnancy for her.
- Adoption: Adoption is an alternative to IVF for couples who are unable to conceive or carry a child.
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What can you do to increase your chances of success with IVF?
To increase the chances of success with IVF, individuals can:
- Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or underweight can reduce the chances of success with IVF.
- Quit smoking: Smoking can reduce fertility and increase the risk of miscarriage.
- Reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption: High levels of alcohol and caffeine consumption can reduce fertility.
- Follow a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet rich in nutrients such as folic acid and iron can increase the chances of success with IVF.
- Manage stress: High levels of stress can interfere with fertility, so it’s important to find ways to manage stress, such as practising yoga or meditation.
- Follow the doctor’s instructions: It’s important to follow the doctor’s instructions carefully and attend all appointments to maximise the chances of success with IVF.
IVF is a highly effective assisted reproductive technology that can help you (couples) if you are struggling with infertility. Although it carries some risks and can be expensive, IVF offers hope to you. It’s important for you to discuss all options with your doctor and make lifestyle changes to increase the chances of success. With careful planning and guidance from healthcare professionals, IVF can be a successful option for your family expansion plan.