IVF and Infertility

Infertility is the inability of a couple to conceive even after 12 months of regular unprotected sexual intercourse. It is very common and 1 in 6 couples struggle to conceive at some point of their life. But with great innovations in medical science and technology, infertility has become a manageable condition with IVF. Many infertile couples turn to IVF to conceive and enjoy parenthood.

Let’s learn some facts related to IVF and infertility…

Males and Females are equally responsible for infertility: Infertility has many causes. It can be due to problems related to the male reproductive system, female reproductive system, and in some cases, problems related to both. In fact, male and female causes account for 40 percent each, while 20 percent are due to a combination of both.

IVF is time-consuming: IVF or in vitro fertilization is an intense procedure that requires many hospital visits. The process is quite lengthy and may take 4 weeks to 2 months or more, depending on the body’s response to the various medications. For the first 10 to 12 days, the female partner is given fertility medications to stimulate the production of multiple eggs in the ovary. She needs to go to the doctor’s clinic regularly during this period for blood tests and scans.

After the stimulation phase, eggs are removed from the ovaries by the doctor and combined with the sperms retrieved from the male partner or donor in the laboratory. After 3 to 4 days, another visit to the doctor’s clinic is required so that the embryo can be placed back into the uterus. Then finally after 2 weeks, a pregnancy test is done. Therefore, the procedure requires multiple visits to the clinic until the time the woman finally conceives.

More than one cycle of IVF can be required: Although there is a continuous rise in the success rates of IVF, it is not always a single cycle treatment. So, it should be considered as a course of treatment and not just as an individual treatment cycle. The findings of a study conducted in the UK support the efficacy of extending the number of IVF cycles beyond 3 or 4. In fact, in the study, the live-birth rate after 6 cycles was found to be 65.3 percent. So, do not lose hope and stick to the procedure till conception.

High chances of multiple pregnancies with IVF: Twins and triplets are more common with IVF as more than one embryo is placed in the womb to increase the chances of pregnancy.

IVF can help females who want late pregnancy: IVF increases chances of pregnancy by 50 percent if a female freezes her eggs (or embryo after fertilization with male sperm) under the age of 35. Recent research suggests that frozen eggs and embryos are equally viable as fresh ones. They can be later implanted in the uterus for pregnancy. So, this can be a solution for women who want to be pregnant later in life.

Acupuncture during IVF can be helpful: Acupuncture increases the blood flow in the body, which may help with embryo implantation during an IVF cycle. It is a cheap way with no side effects that can relax the patient and help in combating stress. 2

Side effects may occur but they’re rare: It is common that women undergoing IVF experience some physical side effects such as a headache, bloating, tiredness, and mood swings. Other than these physical symptoms, the patient may rarely experience ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) or blood clotting that may require medical supervision.

Age decides success rate of IVF: There are more than 50 percent chances of conception per IVF treatment in women below 30 years of age. After 30, more treatment cycles may be required but chances are bright up to 35 years. Therefore, it is better to start as soon as possible for an early success.

Lifestyle affects IVF pregnancy outcomes: Although IVF is a tedious procedure, its results are affected by unhealthy diet and lifestyle habits. Therefore, before, during, and even after conception, a woman should exercise regularly, quit smoking and alcohol, get plenty of sleep, eat a balanced diet, and enjoy healthy lifestyle for best pregnancy outcomes. 5

So if you or your known are unable to conceive and are looking for a solution, IVF can be a ray of hope.



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