Submitted by Shelby D Burns Thu 01/09/2014
In vitro fertilization (IVF) has helped millions of couples get pregnant in the last three decades. In the US, one out of every 100 women give birth by using IVF. What is IVF? Before starting IVF, you may be advised to start a regimen of fertility medications. Fertility pills help stimulate the ovaries to produce several eggs at one time. The more eggs, the better the chances of getting pregnant. While on the medications, your doctor will closely monitor your ovaries, hormone levels and ovarian follicles. When your eggs are ready, a thin needle is used to withdraw the eggs. The eggs are then taken to the lab where they are mixed with sperm in a glass petri dish. Once fertilized, the embryos incubate for several days. They will be monitored for healthy growth and development. At the most optimal time, the embryo will be transferred directly to your uterus where implantation will hopefully take place. Progesterone supplements may be prescribed to increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy. While some doctors transfer multiple eggs, many doctor advise transferring one. Who is a good candidate? Couples who have been unsuccessful with other, perhaps less invasive, fertility treatments often turn to IVF. Women with tubal issues can benefit from the IVF procedure since the process bypasses the tubes. Other good candidates include women with endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). IVF can help overcome the infertility symptoms and get pregnant. Women with irregular ovulation cycles can also benefit since the medications are used to induce ovulation. Even women who do not produce a healthy egg can benefit from IVF by using donor eggs. Male factor infertility can also be overcome by either selecting healthy sperm through intracytoplasmic sperm injection or using donated sperm.