Congratulations on planning to bring a new human to this world through planned pregnancy and IVF! And, do not worry. If you are wondering what to expect when you first visit the doctor, you can relax. This article will help you understand the process of IVF better.
The In Vitro Fertilisation Procedure involves many steps. At first, mature eggs will be collected (retrieved) from your ovaries. Then, these eggs will be fertilized by your partner’s or male donor’s sperm, in a lab. The fertilized egg (embryo) or eggs (embryos) are transferred to the uterus. A cycle of IVF takes about three weeks. However, it can take longer in some cases. You will have to visit the doctor multiple times to get checked for blood pressure and ultrasound. On your final visit, you will undergo a pregnancy test by blood sampling, to ensure the success of the process.
In Vitro Fertilisation is of three types. The first one, Natural IVF, is the safest but also the most time-consuming, as no fertility-inducing drugs are used. The second option, Natural Modified IVF, involves the use of drugs for three to four days. For the third type, i.e. Mild or Mini IVF, you will have to stay on drugs for as long as a week or even more.
Is In Vitro Fertilisation completely free of side effects? Unfortunately, the answer is no. Here are some potential risks of the treatment.
· Multiple births
There can be multiple births if more than one embryo is transferred to your uterus. A pregnancy with multiple foetuses carries a higher risk of early labour and low birth weight than a pregnancy with a single foetus.
· Premature delivery and low birth weight
Research suggests that IVF slightly increases the risk that the baby will be born early or with low birth weight.
· Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
If the clinic injects fertility drugs, such as human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), to induce ovulation, the result can do more harm than good. Such drugs can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, where the ovaries become swollen and painful.
IVF does not decrease the risk of miscarriage. The rate of miscarriage for IVF is similar to that of women who conceive naturally. However, it increases with age.
· Birth defects
The age of the mother can cause birth defects, no matter how the child is conceived. There is no conclusive evidence to show that IVF may cause birth defects.
The medications that are used to stimulate egg growth have been linked to Cancer. However, there is still no proof that these medications may cause tumour growth and harm the mother or the baby. Thus, the chances of you developing cancer from IVF is non-existent. Despite the risks, IVF is actually a really effective and safe way that has brought parenthood to many. Just be sure to focus on positive aspects of the process and self-care. It will make the journey much easier.