You've heard about IVF so many times. The procedure has helped so many of your friends to become parents. Could this procedure be right for you?
Like any other medical procedure, IVF is indicated in specific situations. It may or may not be the right track for you to take in your quest to conceive. Here is a broad outline of the medical conditions that may be served well by assisted reproductive technology such as IVF:
*Tubal Infertility—this condition is defined as significant damage or chronic bilateral tubal obstruction. The diagnosis of this condition can only be confirmed by laparoscopy. This condition is also considered as a factor when microsurgery fails to bring on conception.
*Male Infertility—ICSI or the microinjection of sperm in conjunction with IVF, is now the treatment of choice in most instances of male factor infertility. Men who produce no sperm (azoospermia) can be treated with state of the art sperm retrieval techniques such as MESA, PESA, and TESE, in which sperm can be extracted or aspirated from the tissues of the testes or from the epididymis prior to ICSI.
*Endometriosis—in severe cases of endometriosis, pelvic adhesions alter the anatomy of a woman's pelvis so that there is a physical obstacle to the process of reproduction. Even where endometriosis is mild, a woman's fertility may be impaired through ovulatory dysfunction. This can cause impairment in the transportation of gamete-embryos or cause the peritoneal fluid to develop scavenger cells that can attack and destroy sperm.
*Ovulatory Disorders—the vast majority of ovulatory disorders will respond to the induction of ovulation by pills or injections. But in the case where ovulation is adequate and pregnancy still fails to occur, it is assumed other factors are at play and the idea of IVF is then entertained.
*Unexplained Infertility—in considering treatment options, a physician will take into account the age of the patient and how long she has suffered from infertility. IVF may serve as a diagnostic tool as well as a successful treatment depending on the situation. In women over the age of 40 on the other hand, there's no time to waste. Aggressive treatment and often pre-implantation genetic screening are indicated. In such a case, IVF can cure infertility without any lengthy diagnostic workup. A woman may never know why she couldn't conceive on her own, but she is happy to have conceived via IVF.
*Immunological Infertility—the mechanism of immunological infertility is not well-understood. IVF can often solve the problem.
*Failed Donor Insemination—IVF will be considered after 6 failed cycles of donor insemination. The good news is that an IVF cycle is 3 times more effective than one cycle of donor insemination.
*Egg/Embryo Donation—indicated in conjunction with IVF when ovaries are absent or stunted, ovarian stimulation fails, there is premature ovarian failure, or the oocytes are of poor quality due to advanced age.
*Embryo Biopsy—researchers can now diagnose several inherited diseases from one cell obtained from a 3 day old embryo. As a diagnostic tool, a physician can use the technique to exclude embryos in which only females or males will be affected by an inherited disease. The number of chromosomes can be counted and single genes studied for abnormalities.