Common problems that cause women to resort to IVF include defective fallopian tubes. Damage to the tubes happens due to a number of reasons such as recurrent pelvic infections, recurrent trauma and ectopic pregnancy. Men that consider this form of treatment usually have inadequate number of sperms or abnormal motility.
There are several steps involved in this technology. Firstly, the eggs have to be obtained from the ovaries via radiological imaging guidance. The same imaging is used to view the ovaries and ensure they are working properly. Also, female reproductive hormone levels have to be routinely assessed through blood tests. The male partner at this point is needed to avail a sample of his sperms that will be used in the process.
Sperms can be obtained either through masturbation or testicular surgical aspiration. The latter is only done when the sperm is too low or when masturbation proves unsuccessful. The man should not engage in any sexual activity for at least two prior to the material day as this can result in a poor quality and quantity sperm sample. Before collection, he should thoroughly clean his hands and make sure that the collecting bottle is identified correctly. He should also be advised to take precaution when using lubricants as some are known to be spermicidal.
The next step is to facilitate formation of an embryo through thorough mixing of the eggs and sperms. A better way to ensure fertilization occurs is through a process known as intracytoplasmic injection. This entails directly introducing the sperm into the egg. Once the embryo has formed, it is transported to uterus through a tube or catheter where it is given time to implant.
One of the major drawbacks of IVF is the high cost associated with it. There are also higher chances of getting multiple pregnancies. This comes with the risk of premature labour and low birth weight. Other side effects include nausea, vomiting, bloating, constipation and abdominal pain. This procedure also carries the risk of infection, bleeding and injury to pelvic organs.
The likelihood of success varies from one individual to another depending on the age of the woman, reproductive history, cause of infertility and kind of lifestyle. Ectopic pregnancy being one of the risks of IVF, puts viability and eventual survival of the embryo in question. Emotional stress associated with the process may cause some couples to give up just at first attempt.
Four to six weeks is the approximate period of time for a complete cycle IVF. It is an option that couples facing infertility should strongly consider despite the risks as research has shown that babies are just as healthy as those conceived naturally with no medical issues directly linked to it.
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