In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) – Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions that people usually have about IVF procedure.
1. What Is In-Vitro Fertilization?
IVF is a form of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) in which eggs from the female and sperms from the male are mixed outside the body in a controlled environment (such as a fully-equipped laboratory) to maximize the chances of conception. Fertilized eggs (embryos) are retrieved afterwards and are then transferred to the female uterus. This offers a great chance to the infertile couples to have biological children of their own.
2. What Is The Cost Of IVF?
The cost estimate for an IVF cycle is around $10,000 -15,000 in the US. The overall expenses depends on the insurance policies, and vary from patient to patient.
3. Does In Vitro Fertilization Work?
Yes, since its introduction in the US in 1981, approximately 500,000 babies have been born via ART techniques, IVF being the commonest procedure for artificial reproduction. The average live delivery rate for IVF in 2005 was 31.6%. The conception trend with IVF is constantly on the rise due to advancements in the technology.
4. What Impact Does Infertility Have On Psychological Well-Being?
Never being able to bear one’s own child is one of the great sufferings and source of emotional pain for infertile couples. Most couples opt for adoption or fostering children but not having their own children may promote negative feelings of anxiety, depression and agitation, which may compromise the quality of relationships.
5. What If My Eggs Fails At The Fertilization Process?
In IVF, chances of successful fertilization are higher because eggs are allowed to mix with many sperms in a petri dish. If fertilization doesn’t occur due to abnormally functioning sperms, one sperm is injected directly into the egg, by a procedure known as Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI); if this fails too, donor eggs/sperms are used as an alternative approach.
6. What Are My Options If I Decide Not To Use My Stored Embryos?
- You can donate your stored embryos to an unknown or known woman with fertility issues anonymously or directed embryo donation, respectively.
- You can provide your stored embryos to an infertility research laboratory.
- You can also get them thawed and discarded.
7. What If I Don’t Respond To Drugs Used For Ovarian Stimulation?
There are some cases in which a woman doesn’t respond to ovarian stimulation. For instance:
- If ovarian reserve (number of eggs available) is low, as shown by a specific panel of hormones, an alternative procedure or donated eggs can be used for IVF.
- In some cases, a proper pituitary hormone response is absent in response to ovarian stimulation. In all such cases, a different fertility medicine should be tried.
In addition, certain environmental factors such as obesity, stress, diet, smoking and alcoholism can also impact the success of ovarian stimulation.
8. What Is Third Party Reproduction?
Third party reproduction is the use of sperm donor, egg donor or gestational carrier to help the couple become parents. This can be employed when the egg, sperms or uterus of the couple (who are looking to become parents via IVF technique) are not healthy.
9. Do I Need Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)?
This may be required when the sperm quality (number, motility or morphology) is abnormal. It involves the injection of a single sperm into the cytoplasm of an egg. A semen sample should be carefully analyzed for these features before undertaking IVF or opting for ICSI.
10. Do I Need Donor Eggs?
If the number of eggs in a female are low due to age-related degenerative changes, premature reduction due to any disease process or use of cancer medications; the fertility will be low. In such cases, eggs can be taken from a female donor after rigorous screening and coordination of menstrual cycles of the donor and recipient.
11. Should I have My IVF Center Perform Assisted Hatching On My Embryos Before Transfer?
Assisted hatching enhances the implantation process thus improving the pregnancy rates following the IVF procedure. This is usually advised to patients who are older than 38 yrs. of age or if there are multiple failed attempts at IVF.
12. What Is The Difference Between A Day 3 And Day 5 Transfer?
Embryos are transferred either on day 3 or day 5. This choice depends upon the quality and quantity of embryos, and laboratory variations.
3. Schliep, K. C., Mumford, S. L., Ahrens, K. A., Hotaling, J. M., Carrell, D. T., Link, M., … & Hammoud, A. O. (2015). Effect of male and female body mass index on pregnancy and live birth success after in vitro fertilization. Fertility and sterility, 103(2), 388-395.