In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IVF is a kind of assisted reproductive technology (ART) for those who are not able to conceive naturally. In IVF, medicines or fertility hormones are given to a woman in order to stimulate the ovaries to produce several eggs. The eggs are then collected and mixed with sperm (fertilization) in a laboratory. These fertilized eggs are known as embryos. IVF is done when the quality of sperm is considered to be ‘normal’. In case there are issues with the sperm quality such as low motility or numbers, a procedure known as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be used in which a single sperm is injected into the egg. After the fertilization is successful, the embryos are allowed to grow for around 2-6 days, helping the embryologist to opt for the strongest embryo. The chosen embryo is then placed back inside the woman’s womb with the hope of a successful birth.
Generally, several good quality embryos are created. It is normally a good practice to freeze the remaining embryos because these frozen embryos can then be used later in case the first cycle is unsuccessful or if you need one more baby. However, placing two embryos in the womb may increase the chances of twins or triplets and health risks, in turn.
Depending on the circumstances, an IVF can be done with any of the following:
- Your eggs and your partner’s sperm
- Your eggs and donor sperm
- Donor eggs and your partner’s sperm
- Donor eggs and donor sperm
- Donated embryos
Doctors may also implant embryos in a surrogate or gestational carrier, i.e., a woman who will carry your baby for you.
How is In-Vitro Fertilization conducted?
Doctors at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad follow the following steps in performing IVF:
Stimulation: One egg is produced during each menstrual cycle inside a woman’s body. However, multiple eggs are required in IVF because the chances of developing a usable embryo increases with use of multiple eggs. In order to increase the production of eggs by your body, doctors may recommend you to take fertility drugs. During this phase, doctors may also perform regular blood tests and ultrasounds to monitor the production of eggs and for knowing when to retrieve the eggs.
Egg Retrieval: This is also known as follicular aspiration. It is a surgical procedure done with the help of anesthesia. A needle guided by an ultrasound wand is passed through the vagina into the ovary and the follicle that contains the egg. The needle helps in the suction of eggs and fluid out of the follicles.
Insemination: In this, the male partner will be asked to give a sample of semen. A doctor or a technician will then mix the eggs with the sperm in a petri dish in a laboratory. If this process does not help in producing embryos, the doctor may go for ICSI.
Embryo Culture: Doctors may conduct certain tests to determine the genetic conditions of the embryos monitoring the fertilized eggs to be sure of their development and their division.
Transfer: After 3-5 days of fertilization when the embryos are big enough, they will be implanted into the uterus. Implantation is done by inserting a thin tube known as catheter through the vagina into the uterus where the doctor releases the embryo.
Pregnancy is confirmed when the embryo gets implanted inside the uterine wall. This process may take 6-10 days. Thereafter, the doctors will do blood tests to determine if you are pregnant or not.
To see whether you are pregnant or not, the doctors will test a sample of your blood about 12 days to 2 weeks after the egg retrieval.
If you are pregnant, you may be asked to consult an obstetrician for further prenatal care and medication. If you are not pregnant, you may get your period within a week. In case you do not get a period and still have unusual bleeding, you must consult a doctor. You may also opt for another cycle of In-Vitro Fertilization under which the doctors may suggest you some steps for improving the chances of getting pregnant through IVF.
What complications can In-Vitro Fertilization cause?
The risks associated with IVF include:
- Multiple pregnancies which may increase the risk of low birth weight and premature birth miscarriage or pregnancy loss.
- Ectopic pregnancy in which eggs implant outside the uterus.
- Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS), a rare condition involving an excess of fluid in the abdomen and chest.
- Bleeding, damage or infection in the bowels or bladder
What can you expect from IVF?
IVF starts with injecting hormones in order to help your body produce multiple eggs every month, instead of a single egg. Doctors may then perform tests to determine if you are ready for egg retrieval or not. You may be given injections to helps in ripening the developing eggs and accelerate the process of ovulation prior to the retrieval procedure.
Here, it is important to understand that the timing is very important; the eggs should be retrieved just before they are released by the ovaries. If the eggs are retrieved too early or too late, they will not grow normally. Doctors may also do blood tests or an ultrasound to ensure that the eggs are at the right stage of development, prior to retrieving them.
The Centre for Infertility & IVF at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad has experienced doctors who are dedicated to provide you with the best care and support. They will provide you with valuable instructions to follow the night before and on the day of the procedure. You will also be provided with pain medication and the choice of anesthesia- full anesthesia or mild sedation.
During the procedure, the doctor will locate follicles in your ovary with the help of ultrasound and remove the eggs with a hollow needle. The procedure generally takes less than 30 minutes but may last up to an hour in some cases. The eggs will then be mixed with your partner’s sperm in the laboratory, immediately after the eggs are retrieved. You and your partner may be permitted to go home, with the fertilized eggs being stored in the laboratory under observation. You may even be asked to wait up to 5 days until the embryo reaches a more advanced blastocyst stage.
Once the embryos are ready, the doctor will place one or more embryos in your uterus. This procedure is easier and faster than the retrieval of the egg. The embryo will be placed inside your uterus using a flexible tube known as catheter, inserted through the vagina into your uterus. Most IVF specialists recommend transferring up to 3 embryos at a time but this may increase the chances of multiple pregnancies and thereby health risks for you and the babies. Taking this into account, at Yashoda, we provide genetic counselling as well as fetal reduction option to our patients.
The doctor may advise you to stay in bed for several hours after the procedure is done. About two weeks after the embryo is transferred, you will undergo a pregnancy test. If your partner’s sperm count is low or there is poor motility (movement of the sperm), doctors may combine IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) procedure. In ICSI, the sperm is taken from semen or right from the testicles and injected directly into the egg. Once a normal embryo is produced, it is placed inside the uterus using the usual IVF procedure.
What are the success rates of IVF?
A number of factors decide the success rates of IVF. These factors may include the reasons behind the infertility, whether eggs are frozen or fresh, donated eggs or own eggs, age, etc. At Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad, the success rates of an IVF pregnancy in cases of PGS/PGD is up to 78%. With our extremely high success rates and genetically advanced technologies, not only is your pregnancy assured but you will get genetically healthier babies.
What are the costs of IVF?
The cost of IVF may be different at different places. It also depends on other factors such as amount of medication you are recommended to take, number of IVF cycles and the amount your insurance company may pay towards the procedure. You must also know that some carriers may pay for infertility drugs and monitoring but they won’t pay for the cost of IVF or any other artificial reproductive technology.
At Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad, you will get the best IVF treatment at the most affordable rates.
Looking for specialists for IVF in Delhi/NCR?
The Centre for Infertility & IVF, Seeds of Innocence at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad has India’s most experienced and highly-skilled doctors who have helped a lot of couples in fulfilling their dreams of becoming parents. Our doctors always ensure that you get the best care and support at every stage of your treatment. They understand the kind of support you need when addressing your queries. With our highly advanced and breakthrough technologies and machines, they will provide you with the best treatment you need.
Dr. Gauri Agarwal, with her experience of over 15 years in gynecology and infertility, is one of India’s leading as well as internationally recognized infertility & IVF specialists. She has done her training in IVF and embryology from some of the most prestigious institutions in Belgium and Singapore. Founder-Director of Seeds of Innocence, a well- known chain of IVF Centres and Genestrings Diagnostics Centre, she is one of the pioneers in implementing research and use of new technologies and techniques such as PRP and genetic screening (PGS/PGD).