Focus on IVF Treatment: How Does IVF Work?

IVF treatments can be a godsend to those in need. Through the application of modern science, more Intended Parents than ever are able to realize their dream of creating a family of their own.

Medical technology has come quite a long way in the last 50 years. Because of advances and innovation in the field of reproductive medicine. In vitro fertilization, commonly referred to as IVF, is one such technology that has roots in the mid-twentieth century.  There is an evolution over the years. It became a common practice and low-risk procedure that it is today. If you’ve been struggling to fall pregnant for at least a year, or have suffered any other complications with conceiving a child naturally, IVF treatments may be for you.

IVF Treatment: What is it?

IVF treatment is a type of assisted reproductive technology that takes an egg, either from a donor or an intending parent, and fertilizes it with sperm, either from a donor or an intending parent, outside of the woman’s body- generally in a laboratory setting. The placement of the fertilized embryo in the woman’s uterus is so that the baby grows as normally as possible inside the mother.

IVF Treatment: What are some recent advances?

IVF treatments have seen some pretty great advances since the first IVF baby was born in 1978. Initially, “natural IVF” was used. This is a process by which the contents from a woman’s fallopian tubes or uterus were collected following natural ovulation. The contents were then saturated with the sperm from either the intended father or donor. Then, the reinsertion of the mix went in to the woman’s womb. The problem with this method is that the chances of the woman becoming pregnant were extremely slim.

Advances in the field of reproductive medicine have since built on this initial technique to create IVF as we know it today. Some of these advances include

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– Ovarian Stimulation

Ovarian stimulation happens when the intending mother undergoes a series of hormonal injections that encourage the ovaries to grow more follicles. Each of these ovarian follicles has the potential to produce a healthy egg. So, the more follicles a woman has, the more eggs she is likely to produce.

What’s more, there is a control of ovulation or egg release. This means that the egg retrieval takes place at the best possible time in the cycle.

Final Maturation Induction

Final maturation induction has the name of “trigger shot”. This method uses trigger ovulation. This ensures that all the extra follicles created, release the eggs. This whole process makes the retrieval more successful.  This also ensures eggs are more mature and even more likely to produce a pregnancy.

–  Egg Retrieval

Egg retrieval techniques have evolved considerably since IVF treatment started in the late 1970’s. Initially, the entire contents of a patient’s fallopian tubes or uterus were collected. But the current process is very precise and full of sophistication. Now an outpatient procedure can last just 20-40 minutes. Doctors use a very fine needle to puncture the ovarian follicles and are guided by a special type of ultrasound machine. This procedure has the name of Transvaginal oocyte retrieval. It draws fluid directly from the ovarian follicles. Once harvested, doctors can select the best eggs. Depending on the patient, retrieval of eggs can go anywhere from 10 to 30. This increases the chances of securing a pregnancy almost tenfold in comparison to traditional methods.

–  Egg and Sperm Preparation

As explained in the paragraph above, the methods used in the past would collect whatever fluids were available in the fallopian tubes or uterus, mix them with the sperm and hope for a positive result. Modern techniques are much more precise. Any eggs that have been retrieved from the ovaries are now processed in a lab. Sperm also undergoes specialized preparation. They remove any unnecessary cells or possible infections before fertilization.

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