How Acquainted are You With In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)? Let’s get to know More About It

IVF is one of the most talked about form of ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) as it is seen as the ultimate solution to male and female infertility. Formerly known as “test tube baby”, the reproduction approach requires a couple to attain a general assessment from a fertility centre to diagnose the form of infertility and discuss the treatment approach.

Although IVF is the commonest practiced type of ART treatment worldwide, there are various treatment approaches such as ICSI (Intracytoplasmic sperm injection), and IUI (Intrauterine Insemination), also known as Artificial Insemination) performed in infertility centres.

What is IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)?

In Vitro Fertilization is basically a procedure where the female egg and male sperm are combined together in a petri dish in a laboratory (outside the body) for fertilization to occur. This step results in an embryo, which is scrutinized for any form of abnormality or deformity and then transferred to the female womb for development.

The term “in vitro” literally means “in glass”, with the first successful IVF attempt witnessed in 1978 after the birth of Louise Brown. To date, IVF has resulted in the birth of over 260,000 babies worldwide.

Why Do Couples Seek IVF?

Infertility is the major reason as to why couples seek IVF. Currently, more than 50 million couples around the world suffer from infertility, according to a study conducted by WHO. Generally, infertility is described as the failure to conceive within 2 years of having unprotected sex.

Lifestyle, STDs, pollution, chemical exposure, and genetic factors are some of the major factors responsible for the hiking rates of infertility around the world. Couples who generally attain IVF treatment are diagnosed with any of the following conditions;

  • Endometriosis

It is one of the commonest causes of infertility described as a condition in which the uterine lining grows outside on other organs like the ovaries, and the Fallopian tubes. Endometriosis is estimated to affect 10% of the reproductive-aged women. The condition normally results in scar tissue and adhesions that damage the Fallopian tubes and hamper with ovulation.

Common symptoms of endometriosis include extreme pain during menstrual periods, pelvic or lower abdominal pain, constipation, and pain during sexual intercourse.

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

This is an endocrine disorder in which fluid-filled cysts develop in the ovaries. According to Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), PCOS affects between 8% and 20% women in the reproductive age.

This condition commonly affects women in their 20s and 30s and some of its symptoms includes hirsutism, irregular periods, acne, and hair loss.

  • Low Sperm Count

Sperm issues such as azoospermia and oligospermia are some of the commonest forms of male infertility. Any male with a sperm count lower than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen is considered to have a low sperm count.

  • Blocked Fallopian Tubes

A number of issues such as a history of abortions, infections, miscarriage, and an ectopic pregnancy can block a woman’s tubes hence hindering fertilization.

Ovulation disorders, premature ovarian failure, and related sexual dysfunctions can trigger infertility in both males and females.

How Does IVF Help Couples to Conceive?

The process of IVF generally begins with a number of examinations, blood tests, ultrasound, and evaluating one’s medical history. In case you have a child or children, your fertility doctor will certainly desire to know about it.

Meanwhile, women who have never had children are likely to undergo a process known as ovarian stimulation. In this case, fertility drugs such as Clomid or Gonadotropin (injections) are utilized to trigger ovulation.

The fundamental aim of ovarian stimulation is to attain many eggs in order to increase one’s chances of conception within a single IVF treatment cycle. During this course, you are required to visit your fertility doctor as requested and prior to egg retrieval, a trigger shot is given.

Retrieving these eggs is done under local anesthesia, probably through a laparoscopic surgery (minimally invasive).


Your partner will provide his sperms, either through masturbation or via surgical procedures known PESA and MESA. The sperms are analyzed after which they are combined with the eggs for fertilization to occur.

You will have to wait for a minimum of 4 days or more depending on the fertility centre. The attained embryos will be cultured for some days and an embryologist will examine them to identify the viable ones that can implant in the uterus.

Once all the laboratory procedures are completed, you will be requested to return for embryo transfer. At least 2 to 3 embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus for development.

How does the Transfer Procedure Feel Like?

The procedure is entirely painless, though a woman may experience some discomfort. During this process, a doctor will insert a specialized tube ‘catheter” through the vagina and will extend it to the uterus.

The embryos are then poured in a specialized liquid after which they are introduced into the body via the catheter. You will later rest for a few hours after which you are free to return to your duties.

Pregnancy News

Normally, a pregnancy test is taken after two weeks of embryo transfer. You may feel tensed up, but it is advisable to stay calm and relaxed. In case implantation has occurred, your pregnancy test will certainly turn out positive, but in case it hasn’t occurred, the results will be negative.

In case the results are negative, this doesn’t mean the end of it all, there are higher chances of attaining pregnancy with the next IVF treatment cycle.

IVF Cost

Generally, a couple may require a minimum of RS. 1,00, 000 for the first IVF treatment cycle. More amount will be required in case additional procedures like assisted hatching, surgery and embryo screening procedures like PGS and PGD are required.

Insurance coverage and a fertility centre’s protocols can help cut down the IVF costs.

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