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Has your doctor advised you IVF – ET?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process of fertilization where an egg is combined with sperm outside the body, in vitro (“in glass”). The process involves monitoring and stimulating a woman’s ovulatory process, extracting ova, retrieving a sperm sample and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. After fertilization, the zygote undergoes embryo culture for 2–5 days. It is then implanted in the same or surrogate mother’s uterus, with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy

The IVF procedure could be somewhat different for different patients, depending upon the type of reproductive technique being used. But the basic steps involved in the procedure are:

  • Preparatory tests like routine blood tests, hormonal levels etc.
  • Ovulation Induction with gonadotropins, GnRH agonist and antagonist.
  • Ovum Pick up procedure
  • Semen Preparation
  • Insemination/ ICSI
  • Embryo Transfer- Fresh or Frozen

IVF success depends on a variety of factors that could be maternal age, factors causing infertility, reproductive history, whether donor gametes being used or not, lifestyle factors, embryo status, etc.

Generally, IVF treatment has excellent success rates i.e in younger women (age less than 35 years) the percentage of live births per IVF cycle is about 40-45% while in older women (age more than 40 years) the percentage of live births per IVF cycle is 10-12%.

IVF is not a single treatment but a series of procedure and for a woman, the IVF process actually starts weeks earlier. One cycle of IVF cycle takes between four to six weeks to complete from consultation to embryo transfer, but depending on the specific circumstances of each the protocol is similar for every patient.

Age is probably the most important factor influencing the outcome of an IVF cycle and its restrictions for IVF vary from clinic to clinic. In general, women older than age 40 have a markedly lower chance for a live birth compared with women younger than 40 years old.

No. The process of IVF in and of itself does not lead to high risks of multiple pregnancies. But in order to increase the chances of pregnancy, clinicians transfer two to three embryos in younger and older women respectively, which may end up in getting twins or triplets. Also, the probability of conceiving with multiples increases with the number of embryos transferred during IVF. That’s all about (Has your doctor advised you IVF – ET).

On an average, cost of IVF treatment ranges from 1.5 lakhs to 2 lakhs with additional cost for ICSI and freezing (this includes the drug charges.