Having a baby is one of the wonders of creation. But some couples have difficulty in fulfilling this dream; this is where the scientific knowledge and application of the medical fraternity brings joy to millions of couples by assisting them to conceive through IVF.
What is IVF?
IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is the advanced scientific technology for assisted conception for which Prof. Robert G Edwards was aptly conferred the prestigious Noble Prize. With the birth of the first IVF baby Lousie Brown in 1978 and millions born subsequently IVF has established itself as time tested method for achieving pregnancy. Commonly termed as test-tube baby, IVF involves fertilization of the egg and sperm outside the body (in vitro).
IVF comprises of
- Stimulation and monitoring of the development of follicles (eggs) in the female
- Retrieval of these eggs under ultrasound guidance
- Procurement of sperms from the male
- Fertilization of the egg with sperm in the lab
- Culturing the embryo for a few days
- Transfer of the embryo back into the uterus of the female partner
- Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) - A variation of the procedure involves injecting the sperm into the egg
Why is the procedure required?
IVF is done to help a woman become pregnant. It is used to treat many causes of infertility, including
- Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes (can be caused by pelvic inflammatory disease or prior reproductive surgery)
- Male factor infertility, including decreased sperm count and blockage
- Unexplained infertility
- Advanced age of the woman