Friday, September 25, 2009

In Vitro Fertilization Unraveled

The steady success rate of In-Vitro Fertilization or IVF has made it a popular choice among couples with infertility issues. In the United States, the live birth rate for each IVF cycle started is approximately 30 to 35% for women under age 35, 25% for women ages 35 to 37, 15 to 20% for women ages 38 to 40 and 6 to 10% for women ages over 40.IVF is the process of fertilization by manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. When the IVF is successful, the embryo is transferred into the uterus. In vitro fertilization is a beacon of hope for women who have no fallopian tubes or have blocked/damaged tubes, women who suffer from endometriosis or other complications. IVF is also performed when the sperm count is low in the male partner. IVF involves the following steps: Collection of ripened eggs: The ovulation process is induced using fertility drugs to increase the chance of collecting multiple eggs. Ultrasound scans, urine or blood test samples are performed to check on the ovaries and monitor hormone levels.Egg retrieval: Multiple eggs are retrieved through a minor surgical procedure which uses ultrasound imaging to guide a hollow needle through the pelvic cavity. This procedure uses local anesthesia. Follicular aspiration or the removal of eggs is a relatively painless procedure. Some women may experience cramping on the day of retrieval and some discomfort for a few weeks. Preparing the sperm: Sperm obtained by ejaculation is prepared for combining with the eggs.Insemination : During insemination, the sperm and eggs are placed in incubators for fertilization. If the chances of fertilization by this method is low, intra cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be used. ICSI involves injecting a single sperm into the egg for fertilization. When the eggs are fertilized and cell division occurs, they are considered embryos. Transfer of embryos: The embryos are usually transferred into the woman's uterus between two to three days following egg retrieval. This process involves a speculum which is inserted into the vagina to expose the cervix. A predetermined number of embryos are suspended in fluid and gently placed through a catheter into the womb, guided by ultrasound. Wait and watch: Next, the couple has to wait and watch for pregnancy symptoms. A blood test and an ultrasound can confirm implantation and pregnancy.However, it must be noted that most couples usually go in for more than one IVF cycle before a positive pregnancy test result. Furthermore, miscarriages are also a risk that needs to be taken into consideration. Cost-wise, IVF is an expensive affair. A single IVF cycle can cause anywhere between $10,000 and $12,000 in the United States. And this amount is not covered by insurance because IVF is an elective procedure. But compare this cost to the joy of experiencing parenthood, and then, IVF is truly priceless! --Alex White is a free lance writer and a health & fitness expert who has been associated with several health care providers across various specialties. Through his articles, Alex wishes to inform and educate public about in-vitro-fertilization which will benefit those who are looking for resourceful information regarding health. For more details on this and other news related to" in-vitro-fertilization", visit"

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