Invitro Fertilization, otherwise known as IVF, is what many know about as the ‘test-tube baby’ technique. The technique was developed over 3 decades ago in order to help women with damaged or injured Fallopian tubes conceive and have children. The technique has since been developed and assists many women worldwide who would otherwise be unable to have children.
How does IVF work
The treatments are consistent in that they all begin with a type of hormone therapy which is intended to stimulate follicle development which occurs in the ovary. These follicles are then collected as eggs and fertilized in a test tube. The test tube is where the ‘invitro’ comes into play. The fertilized follicles, or eggs, create embryos. These embryos are out in a sort of incubator for two to five days, the timing determined based on the woman and the circumstances. One of the few embryos are then inserted in the woman and travel through the vagina to the uterus where they implant, the same way a fertile woman’s eggs would. This is the beginning of the pregnancy. Though the success rate is both impressive and high, not every embryo equals pregnancy, therefore the unused embryos are kept in a frozen state, in case the first one is unsuccessful. Freezing is a crucial part of IVF programs worldwide.
Two or more embryos can result in multiple pregnancies and this is why only one embryo is used and the others are frozen. The success rates of IVF are over 50%, but, as with other methods, may decline if and when patients are over the age of 35. Circumstances and health also play into the overall success of the treatment. Any and all women considering IVF should consult their doctors and medical professionals before pursuing treatment. There are many resources available, be sure to use them.