Some time ago, medicine was powerless to help married couples suffering from infertility. However, in modern times, such couples have a chance to have a child, since the most effective and popular method of treating infertility today is artificial insemination or IVF (in vitro fertilization). According to one of the latest WHO reports, the pregnancy rate in IVF averages about 20%, but this is only the general average value of the variation in indications in different countries.
Who is the IVF treatment indicated for?
The method of artificial insemination is very effective in all forms of infertility, however, if infertility is caused by significant changes in the uterus, for example, powerful intrauterine contractions of its walls, the IVF method may be contraindicated.
In general, artificial insemination has been successfully used to treat couples who have been unsuccessful at conception during the past year as a result of factors such as:
- obstruction of the fallopian tubes or as a result of the adhesion process in the small pelvis, which violates the anatomy of the fallopian tubes and ovaries;
- with severe spermatogenesis;
- with hormonal infertility, when 3-6 cycles of ovarian stimulation did not give positive results.
How is the IVF procedure
The treatment procedure for artificial insemination includes a number of successive stages:
- hormonal stimulation of the ovaries;
- follicle puncture and egg collection;
- oocyte fertilization and embryo cultivation;
- transfer of the obtained embryos into the uterine cavity.
The first stage – hormonal stimulation of the ovaries is carried out so that in one menstrual cycle the doctor receives several mature eggs at once – to increase the likelihood of pregnancy during the artificial insemination procedure. Almost 30% of procedure failures are associated with premature release of the egg during hormonal stimulation and the inability to receive eggs.
The second stage – the puncture of the ovaries and the collection of eggs, the doctor carries out through the vagina using a special needle with control of the process through ultrasound. The puncture is safe for the patient, painless and does not require anesthesia. Egg follicles obtained during the procedure are placed in special cups in incubators, maintaining conditions similar to those of the mother’s body (the same temperature, the same carbon dioxide content, and others.
4-6 hours after the puncture, spermatozoa must be added to the eggs in order for fertilization to occur. After fertilization has taken place, embryos begin to develop through cell division.
Already after 2-3 days, with the help of a special crater, the embryos are transferred into the uterus. This procedure is also painless and does not require the use of pain relievers. To increase the likelihood of pregnancy, 3-4 embryos are transferred into the uterus. At this time, a woman is advised to take drugs that support the development of embryos.
A few weeks after the transfer of embryos to the uterus, the woman is diagnosed with a “biochemical pregnancy”, which is diagnosed by the level of the hormone hCG in the blood.