The IVF treatment (acronym for In Vitro Fertilization) is a process in which the fertilization of the egg by the sperm takes place outside the woman’s body (that is, in a laboratory). The first successful treatment of this technique occurred in 1978 and since then it has helped many people suffering from infertility. Before analyzing the IVF treatment step by steplet’s briefly summarize the advantages of this process: ·Possibility of having biological children: Unlike other methods, in IVF it will not be necessary to have donor eggs or sperm. ·Long trajectory: this technique has had a long time to be perfected by medical professionals from different parts of the world.
·Adaptation: In addition to being useful in cases of infertility associated with the Fallopian tubes, it also works with sperm quality problems or those that have no apparent explanation.
· Examination of embryos: This technique also helps couples to explore the embryos to detect hereditary pathologies or chromosomal problems (only if desired).
·In addition, IVF is also a good alternative for women who do not have a partner, or for women of the same sex.
What phases does IVF treatment include?
If you are interested in undergoing a IVF treatmentIt is important that you know the objective of each phase. In this section you will know everything about it:
1) Ovarian stimulation
This first step consists of the administration of a medication (gonadotropins and gnRH agonists or antagonists) with the aim that the ovaries have the capacity to develop several follicles. Depending on the process, different protocols can be used (short, ultra-short, long, with agonist or short with antagonists). Each particular case will be studied in order to use the most appropriate solution. The duration of this treatment varies depending on the patient’s response, although it is usual for it to be between 10-13 days.
2) Retrieval of oocytes
When the previous phase has finished, the oocytes are obtained using the ovarian puncture. An ultrasound is carried out in order to verify that the follicles have achieved the appropriate number and size. This process is carried out under sedation and requires some 10 minutes. Due to the sedation, the patient will not suffer discomfort.
3) Fertilization of oocytes
In this phase we can find 2 techniques: Conventional IVF either IVF ICSI.
Conventional IVF: This process consists of putting the sperm sample in contact so that they are in charge of fertilizing the eggs on their own. There will be a closure if the sperm is able to penetrate an egg.
ICSI technique: This technique is used in the event that an error occurs in the previous method. This technique manages to transport the sperm inside the egg. One technique or another will be chosen depending on the results of the seminogram and other tests.
4) Embryo transfer
When the fertilized eggs have been obtained, they will remain in the laboratory to check their evolution. Depending on the quality and quantity of embryos, the transfer could take place in 2 days, 3 days or 5 days. If we are talking about a patient who has had problems in the past, or couples who already have a child and only seek the transfer of a single embryo, the transfer is usually carried out in five days (on the day D5).
5) Vitrification of embryos
When the embryo transfer has been carried out, there will be a number of embryos left over. These are not discarded in case they may be needed, but will be frozen at a temperature of -196ºC. Due to the low temperature, the quality of the embryos will remain intact. In the event that patients have not been successful with the first IVF cycle, they will be able to resort to these embryos for new attempts. According to the law, these embryos can be used by the couple themselves if they have not become pregnant in the first cycle, they can be donated or used in certain research processes.
Are there any risks or complications of IVF?
The experts assure that the IVF risks or complications they are very scarce, they are even considered almost zero. However, there are some possible risks that should be clear. There could be a low appearance of follicles, which would be related to a low response. ·Could obtain low or irregular hormone levels (This would indicate that the oocytes obtained would not be of high quality). It could also happen Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (although, currently, there are some formulas to reduce or avoid it). ·If the ovulation is early could not accurately determine the time to extract the oocytes.
Now you know the whole process related to the IVF treatment. If you have any questions about it, consult a professional.