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Things to Know before Undergoing IVF Treatment

IVF is the name given to a series of medical and surgical procedures done to treat infertility problems. At first, one needs to be mentally and physically prepared for an IVF cycle. This is done by counseling the couple, testing, and evaluating the ovaries and fallopian tubes to ensure they’re in perfect health. Also, semen analysis test and a full-body checkup are also probable tests. After everything has been assessed, the physician will proceed as follows-

  • Ovarian stimulation is done by fertility drugs (for about 8-10 days) which promotes the growth of multiple ovarian follicles.
  • After doing an ultrasound test to see if a sufficient number of eggs have matured, egg retrieval will be performed. It’s a surgical procedure that involves using a needle and catheter to suck mature eggs out from the body. On the same day, a semen sample of the male partner is taken.
  • Then comes the step of fertilizing the eggs with the sperms which is done by keeping the eggs and semen sample side-by-side in an incubator overnight. Fertilization might be achieved conventionally or ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) may be performed. (Under what circumstances?) 
  • If the fertilization was successful, the healthiest embryo will be selected and transferred into the mother’s uterus in the next 3 to 5 days.
  • Lastly, after about 2 weeks, the pregnancy test is conducted to check if you’ve conceived or not. If positive, you’ll be prescribed further tests and medications to support your and your baby’s health.

How does IVF work?

IVF is one of the most popular and efficient assisted reproductive techniques available to us. It involves both medical and surgical procedures which are used to extract eggs and sperm from the potential parents and fertilize them in a Petri dish to get an embryo. This embryo is then transferred to the mother’s womb where the pregnancy (if the IVF cycle is successful) continues like in natural pregnancy. IVF is used to help the couple treat both male and female factor infertility. It can help women who have totally blocked fallopian tubes, who’re suffering from severe PCOS, whose womb is unfavorable for sperm life, etc. It is also a solution for low sperm count or decreased sperm mobility issues in men. It helps people by making the entire process of conceiving more streamlined and precise. 

Is IVF safe?

Generally speaking, in-vitro fertilization is a safe method for most people and very few people experience problems during or after the treatment. However, as in all medical procedures, there are certain risks involved-

  • Fertility drugs can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome leading to complications. But this is a rare occurrence and women with PCOS are most susceptible to it. 
  • The chances of having twins or multiple pregnancies are increased.
  • The baby can be underweight and prematurely delivered.
  • The chances of having an ectopic pregnancy are increased.
  • The entire process is extremely exhausting, not just financially but also emotionally and physically.

Therefore, it’s better to talk to your doctor properly about the potential risks beforehand, to be prepared.

Why IVF fails?

Due to the involvement of a lot of steps in an IVF cycle, there is also a possibility of more than one reason for its failure. Here are some of the most common factors that lead to IVF failure:

  • Insufficient number of eggs
  • Bad quality eggs and/or sperm
  • Improper egg retrieval
  • Unhealthy and weak embryo
  • Unsuccessful embryo transfer
  • Abnormal embryo development
  • Lifestyle issues like drinking alcohol, or smoking, or obesity, etc.
  • Poor uterine receptivity
  • Certain health conditions like fibroid tumors and ovarian dysfunction
  • If you’ve had multiple miscarriages in the past

How much does IVF cost?

Although cost is a variable factor and changes with time, place, and the quality of clinical facilities, there is still a price range for IVF. When you visit the doctor 1st time for consultancy, they may charge you about Rs.500-1500. The lab work and tests will demand a fee of approximately Rs.3000-10,000. The medications, injections, and ultrasound tests should cost somewhere between Rs.1500-7000. If you can’t have a baby with traditional IVF and require additional procedures like intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI) or a donor/ surrogate, then the costs will further increase by almost Rs. 2.5 lakhs to Rs. 4 lakhs. Lastly, if you wish to do cryogenic preservation of eggs for future use then an additional Rs.50,000 to Rs.1 lakh would be required. 

Therefore, a traditional IVF cycle can cost you from Rs.70,000 to Rs.1,50,000. However, if you need more advanced techniques, you’ll definitely have to shell out more than 1 lakh rupees. 

Is IVF a surgery?

IVF is a combination of medical and surgical procedures. Ovarian stimulation, where the woman is given fertility drugs to produce more mature eggs, is a medical procedure. But the next step, egg retrieval, is a surgical process. This 15-minute procedure is performed after sedating the patient where the doctor inserts a needle via a catheter into the uterus and ovaries. Eggs are then sucked out and transferred into a petri dish for incubation. Of course, it is a minor surgery and you won’t experience any pain during the procedure. Post-surgery, some cramping, constipation, or bloating may trouble you but nothing major. It is advised that the patient rests for 24 hours after egg retrieval.

What is an IVF center?

A clinic or facility where you can get one or several treatment options for infertility, of which IVF is one, is known as an IVF center. The clinic may offer only in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment or also offer other ARTs like IUI. AI, and ICSI. There are specialized doctors present here to guide you through the procedures. Grace Fertility, one of the best IVF centre in Gurgaon, also provides these premium services.

What tests need to be done before IVF?

Here are a few common tests that are conducted before you undergo an IVF cycle-

  • Ovarian reserve test- this test is used to analyze the blood hormone levels of FSH, AMH, and Estradiol. A low ovarian reserve may affect IVF.
  • Tubal patency test- Hysterosalpingo Contrast Sonography (HyCoSy) is done to observe and analyze the condition of the uterus and fallopian tubes. The functionality of both these organs is essential for the success of IVF.
  • Semen analysis- semen sample is tested for motility, sperm count, and sperm shape. All these can affect the chances of IVF success.
  • Prolactin test- a key hormone in the production of milk, too much of this hormone may prevent conception. Therefore, knowing its level in your body will allow the doctor to know which drug they should prescribe.
  • A screening test for infectious diseases like HIV, hepatitis-B, Rubella, etc., to save the embryo from them.
  • Mock embryo transfer may be conducted to know the uterus beforehand, this increases the chances of success.

Other than these, your doctor can tell what all tests you need to get done based on your personal and family medical history.

Who needs IVF?

Before you decide to undergo an IVF cycle, it is better to know if you really need it or not. Because many infertility problems can be solved by the other, less invasive ARTs like IUI and AI. So, here are some conditions which demand the use of IVF:

  • If both your fallopian tubes are completely blocked
  • If you suffer from severe PCOS and thus, produce very few or no mature eggs
  • If the male partner suffers from severe sperm motility or morphology or sperm count issues
  • If the laparoscopy test couldn’t produce any reason for the infertility problem
  • If the uterus is not favorable for the life of sperms or can’t sustain an embryo
  • If the baby is vulnerable to some dangerous genetic disorder
  • Single women and same-sex couples who want a baby

Can IVF cost be paid in installments?Yes! To make infertility treatment more accessible, many banking firms are offering loans and low-cost EMIs for IVF treatment. Moreover, many IVF centers also offer interest-free loans from Rs 2 to 15 lakh with repaying terms varying from 6 months to 5 years. So, check with your IVF center beforehand to know if they offer any such option, if not, you can always go to private sector firms that are giving out IVF loans. Grace Fertility Center is one of the IVF treatment providers that have an EMI option for IVF

About Author

Shashank Jain, founder of good-name, a young and energetic entrepreneur has always been fond of technology. His liking for technology made him go for engineering in computers. During his studies, he learned & worked on different computer languages & OS including HBCD, Linux, etc. He also has a keen interest in ethical hacking.

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