In Vitro Fertilization, also known as IVF is a type of artificial insemination in which an egg is fertilised with sperm in a laboratory, outside the body, before being reinserted into the uterus. Every year, around 30.000 couples from the USA alone opt for an in vitro fertilisation procedure – around 30% of them manage to conceive a child from the first IVF cycle.

IVF Candidates

IVF is recommended for patients or couples that cannot or are having troubles in conceiving naturally. Same-sex couples and single individuals are good candidates for an IVF treatment.

Am I Suitable for IVF?

In Vitro Fertilization is generally not recommended for patients over 40 years of age or patients with uterine abnormalities which can interfere with the IVF process.

Preparing for IVF

Dealing with infertility issues can be emotionally draining for any couple. It’s best to be as informed as possible and know what to expect from an IVF cycle. Patients or couples can use an IVF calculator to estimate their IVF success rate and an IVF pregnancy calculator to find out their due date.

How is IVF Performed?

A full IVF process is also called an IVF cycle – this includes all the necessary steps to reach a successful pregnancy. The first step of an IVF treatment is interviewing the couple or patient and discussing past pregnancies, potential anterior IVF attempts, potential infertility issues or infections of the reproductive system and other details related to the in vitro fertilisation procedure itself.

The second step of the procedure is providing the patient with “IVF injections” which help to stimulate the development of eggs. The injections usually start on the second or third day of the patient’s menstrual cycle and are crucial in stimulating the ovarian follicles that produce the eggs.

Once the eggs reach maturity, they are retrieved and then fertilized in laboratory conditions. The healthiest and strongest sperm is used to fertilize these eggs – one of them will be selected for embryo transfer. In the final stage of the procedure, the fertilized egg is transferred back into the uterus and once it attaches to the lining of the uterus, IVF pregnancy can begin.

If the male partner suffers from infertility issues, the IVF ICSI technique can be used to ensure fertilization of the egg.

IVF Summary

Duration of Operation

Embryo transfer is very straightforward and usually takes less than 15 minutes

Minimum Stay

1 to 2 weeks

Hospital Stay

Patients are able to fly as soon as the embryo or embryos have been transferred

Number of Trips Abroad

1 trip

IVF Risks and Complications

One of the biggest risks of an IVF pregnancy is the probability of multiple births: 63% of IVF babies are single children, 5% are triplets or more and 32% are IVF twins.

IVF Side Effects

IVF side effects generally vary from person to person and also depend on the intake of stimulatory drugs. Some patients may experience nausea, breast tenderness, headaches and bloating.

IVF Success Rates

The success rate of an In Vitro Fertilisation procedure depends on a few factors such as the patient’s body mass, caffeine and alcohol intake, the patient’s body mass index, the patient’s age, the duration of the patient’s infertility and the number of oocytes produced by the body. Women aged 25-39 are most likely to conceive from the first IVF cycle.

The IVF success rate can be calculated on the number of live births, but the figures depend highly on the patient’s age:

  • 35 or younger – 43% to 50%
  • 35 to 40 – 35% to 40%
  • 40 or older – 15 to 18%

 

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