Giving rise to a new born is a special feeling. Your family increases, the happiness doubles, the excitement triples and you may seem to be on cloud nine. Succession of a family is traditionally and socially significant. And, sometimes, it is a matter of respect and dignity.
Many couples are not able to conceive and bear a child. This may be due to medical reasons. There may be some problem with the ovulation process or the quality of egg produced, or else the fallopian tube might be damaged.
Not just always a woman is at fault, there may be, equally, some problem with the male partner as well. The sperm count might be low or the motility of the sperms may pose some problem.
Let us not ponder upon the problems and the reasons, as finding a solution is the key! With the advancement in science and technology, the couples who are not able to conceive can have a child. This employs new scientific methods and approach. IVF is the best and the most popular solution!
What is IVF?
When it comes to fertility solutions, the abbreviation IVF is most popularly known and made use of. It reads – In Vitro Fertilisation. It is the technique which makes the fertilisation process take place outside the mother’s womb. This method originated more than 30 years ago, in England. And gradually, it has gained wide acceptance.
However it is a complex and quite expensive procedure, it is efficient and worth doing. It has fulfilled dreams of millions of infertile couples to become parents, and has spread out the optimism in them.
A range of processes equipped with drug doses and injections shall follow up for about two weeks, which will induce the follicle development inside the mother. The eggs are then collected and further steps are taken for fertilisation.
As you undergo the processes, you have to be physically and mentally prepared. However, the doctors make it very comfortable for you and proper counselling is also provided.
IVF success rate
Whether the IVF is successful or not, it greatly varies with the infertility conditions and the age of the couple. Younger couples tend to have a higher success rate. According to the statistics, out of 100 couples, 47 couples who were below the age of 35 were successful at IVF; 21 couples between 35 and 40 were successful, and only 7 couples above the age of 45 were successful.
As it can be easily seen, success rates decline as the age progresses. This is because the eggs of an older woman are low in count and poor in quality.
Another factor which affects the success rate of IVF is previous pregnancy. Some male infertility problems such as uterine abnormalities, fibroid tumours etc decrease the IVF efficiency. Lifestyle habits such as smoking greatly affect the success rate as well.
Also, it is to be noted that a well equipped and trained IVF clinic is the best place to solve the infertility problem.
IVF treatment is not an easy and one-step process. It is a complex technique which makes use of step by step methodologies. The complete treatment has been described as follows:
- Suppressing natural monthly cycle:
Drug dose begins. The drugs are provided to suppress the natural cycle of producing eggs. Drugs can be administered in form of injections or nasal sprays. This treatment continues till 13-14 days.
- Stimulation of Ovary:
In the beginning of the woman’s menstrual cycle, the drugs are given in order to stimulate the ovaries so that they can produce many eggs instead of just one egg. Gonadotropin, the fertility drug is used for the stimulation and synthetic hormones are injected to manage the time of release of eggs.
Gonadotropin is given as a daily injection for about 12 days.
- Keeping a watch on follicle development:
Wondering what is a follicle? It is a fluid filled sac where eggs mature. As you are going through the drug treatment, you need to continuously visit the doctor’s clinic so that they can check upon your follicle development. Vaginal ultrasound scans and blood tests might be some of the methods to check the progress.
- hCG injection:
Another hormonal injection is given when the follicles are ready. This injection is given in order to make the eggs mature. The injection is specifically of hCG (Human chorionic Gonadotropin). After about 36 hours, the eggs can be collected.
- Collection of Eggs:
The eggs now are ready to be gathered. This is done very carefully. The doctor gives you anaesthesia and then uses an ultrasound probe to locate the follicles in the ovaries, inside the vagina. A thin hollow needle is then used to take out the eggs from the follicles. About 8 to 15 eggs are collected through this process.
After the egg collection, you may feel cramps. Light bleeding or spotting may last for a few days. Do not worry, you will feel better in two to three days.
If implantation is going to be done, then another set of medication is given which will prepare the wall of uterus for embryo transfer.
The embryologist checks upon the eggs before combining them to the sperm. Not every egg is capable of undergoing fertilisation. The suitable eggs are then mixed with the sperm, which may be of the partner or the donor. The situation depends accordingly. After combining, they are incubated for a night. Signs of fertilisation are observed and those eggs which are now fertilised are termed as embryos.
The embryos are then further grown in laboratories for about six days under proper conditions. The best suitable embryo is then chosen for transfer. The process does not complete here, neither the success is established. While implantation takes place, if something goes wrong and the embryo is not able to survive, then there shall be the need of another embryo. Hence, the rest of the embryos which were not chosen for fertilisation are kept in frozen state for future use.
- Embryo Transfer:
According to the age, numbers of embryos are transferred to the uterus by using a thin tube inserted through the cervix. The women under the age of 40 are transferred with one or two embryos whereas those at or above the age of 40 are transferred with maximum three embryos.
Such embryo transfers usually lead to multiple births, hence, Single Embryo Transfer (SET) is usually recommended by the doctors if found suitable.
Speculum is inserted in the vagina to hold it open so that the cervix is clearly visible. The tube used is called the catheter, which is then passed through the cervix. Embryos are passed down the tube. You may feel some pain, but not so hard that you take anaesthesia.
- Successful Implantation:
If everything goes in flow and without any mistakes and abruptions, then the IVF works and the embryo gets implanted successfully. It will grow inside the mother’s womb naturally.
As soon as you are done with the embryo transfer, you can go for the next step- the pregnancy test. This will determine your pregnancy period!
Congratulations! After undergoing such a long process of about more than a month, you are finally pregnant and going to have your own baby!
You may feel a little anxious and a bit excited. A mixed feeling may engulf you and you may ask yourself “Is this true?” Yes, it is true. So, here we are to prepare you for your IVF pregnancy so that you take a little more care of yourself!
Pregnancy carries a set of symptoms, and so does the IVF pregnancy. It is not much different from it! The early two weeks might be quite stressful and some changes may take place inside your body. A few symptoms are mentioned below:
- A missed period is a sign of pregnancy, but it is also to be noted that not always you can depend on this sign. Those who have undergone IVF may have light bleeding or spotting followed with the cramping.
- The breasts become tender and swollen, and the nipples become sensitive. The areolas darken.
- Headache and tiredness is common in the first trimester. These occur because of hormonal changes.
- Nausea and morning sickness.
- Urge to urinate frequently follows up. This increases the thirst as well.
- The basal body temperature rises.
- Excess of saliva forms, which is also called Ptyalism.
- Stomach cramps and abdominal pains are also common.
- Mood swings occur.
You need to have continuous blood tests and ultrasound scans to check upon the pregnancy. The diet and the exercise should be properly planned and done so that your baby grows healthier along with the mommy!
You must not forget to notice the signs of pregnancy. These signs will tell you that you are pregnant, and now you are going to add a new member to your family. Excited for what is going to come? Time for some preparation and doctor visit! If you don’t know about these signs please refer this article about various signs of pregnancy and sharpen your knowledge on the subject.
IVF cost in India
IVF is an expensive process as the scientific equipments and lab maintenance is a pre-requisite to carry it out. The medical staff expertise and the success rate of that specific clinic also affect the price. Reputation and location adds a cherry on top of the cake.
Due to the high cost, many infertile couples step back and do not go for IVF even if they have the utmost desire to become parents.
In U.S., the average cost of one IVF cycle is $12,400. In India, the cost of IVF is about 2, 50,000 INR to 5, 00,000 INR.
The cost includes the medication and the services. It is the cost of the underlying system which is being taken. As compared to other developed countries, IVF cost in India is reasonable. This is the reason why India is chosen by foreign medical patients to undergo IVF.
IVF calculator is an online tool which is used to predict the due date based on IVF transfer, retrieval date, insemination date or ovulation date. It asks you to fill some details and accordingly, it gives the answers showing the progress of your pregnancy.
It is not as easy as having a cup of tea to predict the pregnancy progress in IVF. Although many similarities exist, IVF pregnancy is distinct than the natural pregnancy.
The IVF calculator may show you the due date and your pregnancy progress, but remember that it is just an estimate based on the information given by you. The actual due date may differ from the one predicted by the calculator. Please be sure to discuss your pregnancy with your healthcare provider regularly.
IVF in India
India is gradually taking a position under top destinations of the world for IVF treatment. This is because of many valid reasons:
- The cost of treatment is very less as compared to the other western countries. They take about $12000, whereas India accounts only 1, 50,000 INR to 3, 00,000 INR. This is somewhat equal to $3000. Compare $3000 to $12000. A big change, no?
- The technology is available at reasonable rates.
- The techniques used are efficient and solve infertility problems very finely!
- The expertise is available with experience and vast knowledge.
- The communicative staff makes use of English language making it easy for the foreign patients.
- Medical counselling is also provided at its best.
IVF in India is attracting foreign patients. But, on the ground level, due to such high rates, the Indians belonging from poor economic backgrounds are still not able to enjoy the fruits of such an advanced and fruitful technology.
Either you are pregnant or if thinking of getting pregnant then you should definitely read our article on Pregnancy week by week which will enhance your knowledge about symptoms you experience from first to 36th week.