What you should know about IVF
What is IVF?
IVF means In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). It is a form of assisted reproduction in which we retrieve mature eggs from a woman’s ovary, fertilizing them with sperm in a lab and transferring them into a uterus. The stages of IVF are ovulation induction, egg and sperm retrieval, fertilization and embryo transfer. An embryo transfer is the final and most delicate step in the IVF process.
Who can do IVF?
IVF is an infertility treatment. IVF may be recommended for older women trying to conceive because, naturally, their bodies may produce fewer eggs and have difficulty with egg implantation. Egg implantation occurs when a sperm fertilizes an egg and then travels from a woman’s tube to the uterine lining, where it attaches and grows.
IVF is also used to treat certain health conditions in a woman, such as fallopian tube blockage, tubal ligation, Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) causing ovulation irregularities, Endometriosis, and uterine fibroids. For men with low sperm count, poor motility, sperm morphology problems or blockage in the male reproductive tract, a specialist may also recommend IVF.
What are the risks involved?
IVF is costly, and conception is highly likely but not guaranteed. However, these are some of the outcomes that a couple who chooses to do IVF may experience:
- Multiple babies: Women who go through IVF often conceive twins or triplets. The number of babies is even more in some cases. Using numerous eggs increases the chances that more than one egg will implant, resulting in multiple fetuses.
- Ectopic pregnancy is when the eggs implant outside the uterus instead of inside it.
- Premature delivery and low birth weight: IVF can increase the risk that the mother delivers the baby early and/or that the baby has a low birth weight.
- Miscarriage can occur after IVF at the same rate it may happen in natural conception. One thing to note is that as the mother ages, the rate of miscarriages also increases.
- Complications in the egg-retrieval procedure may result in infection or bleeding.
What determines success?
Your chances of having a healthy baby using IVF depend on many factors. Some of those factors are:
- Age: Women under 35 may have a higher success rate as this is the peak of their fertility. The age factor also applies to a donor. For a man, sperm quality also starts reducing from 35 years.
- Previous pregnancy: A woman has a greater chance of conceiving through IVF if she has been pregnant before and carried her baby to term. On the other hand, a woman who has had recurrent miscarriages may experience challenges conceiving through IVF.
- Infertility Cause: Some medical conditions in a man or woman, including vasectomy, low sperm quality, fibroids, uterine abnormalities, and ovarian dysfunction, may need other treatments, such as surgery or a donor to have a baby through IVF.
- Lifestyle: Smoking by one of the partners significantly reduces the success of conception by IVF. Also, overweight or underweight women have fewer chances of conceiving than people with a normal BMI. People who take adequate nutrition are also more likely to have a successful outcome. The environment one is in also matters, as a healthy environment can influence conception and vice versa.
- The fertility clinic: The fertility clinic directly affects the success of an IVF cycle. A good center has the required protocol, technology, laboratory standards, air quality, and experts.
Our IVF clinic at Mother and Child Hospital has a well-equipped lab and seasoned fertility experts to support a successful process. Our experts at Mother and Child Hospital combine care with years of handling infertility, helping couples weigh the options and guiding them in choosing the best course of fertility treatment.
Upon conception, our team of experienced Obstetricians & Gyneacologists, and midwives will attend to you regularly up until birth and after delivery.
The IVF clinic at Mother and Child Hospital runs on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 am to 2 pm. Our lab is also running. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +234 703 620 2190 to schedule an appointment.