Test-Tube Baby or In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is a series of procedures followed, to help with fertility issues or genetic problems faced by couples. During IVF, mature healthy eggs are extracted from the ovary and fertilised by the sperm in a lab. Then these fertilised eggs (embryos) are transferred to the uterus. Unlike the natural birth process, IVF takes place under lab conditions, and the babies produced by this procedure are known as Test tube babies.
|In- Vitro Fertilization|
|Test Tube Baby|
|Infertility or Genetic problems faced by couples.|
|Benefits of the Surgery||Timings of your choice, Increased chances of having a healthy baby, Decreased changes of Miscarriage|
Conditions treated with In Vitro Fertilization
IVF is used for couples facing infertility-related problems. These conditions could be because of:
- Blockage of fallopian tubes due to the removal of an ectopic pregnancy or because of infection.
- IVF is done if a woman couldn’t conceive, even after there is a good development and timely rupture of follicles, even after 6-8 cycles of intrauterine insemination or other similar treatments.
- If you have grade 3 or 4 endometriosis during the first laparoscopy.
- Women with decreased ovarian reserve require test-tube baby procedures.
- If you are above 38 years of age and want to conceive, then this procedure is beneficial.
- If your partner’s sperm function degenerates or if there is abnormal semen.
Who needs In Vitro Fertilization?
IVF is often not the first choice for treating infertility. This technique is recommended when interventions such as fertility drugs, surgery, and artificial insemination do not work. It is recommended for couples who have the following:
- Reduced fertility (generally with age>40 years)
- Fallopian tubes, which may be blocked or impaired
- Decreased ovarian function
- Uterine fibroids
- Male infertility (e.g. low sperm count and abnormalities in sperm shape)
- Infertility due to unknown causes
- Passing a genetic disorder to the offspring
The most effective way of ART, usually a complete cycle, takes about 3-4 weeks, or the process could be split into steps and take longer, depending on the surgeon's recommendation.
How is In Vitro Fertilization performed?
The procedure is divided into five stages, which involve:
- In a normal woman, one egg is produced during each menstrual cycle. But this procedure requires multiple eggs to increase the chances of developing a viable embryo.
- The female will be given fertility drugs to help the body increase the count of eggs.
- The doctor will perform regular tests and ultrasounds to check egg production and know when to retrieve them.
- This is also known as follicular aspiration.
- It’s a surgical procedure performed under anaesthesia.
- An ultrasound wand will be used during the egg retrieval, which will help the doctor lead the needle through your vagina, into your ovary, and then into the egg-containing follicle.
- Suctioning of the eggs will be done by using a needle.
- In this step, your male partner will be asked to give a semen sample.
- The technician will mix the sperm and eggs in a petri-dish to form an embryo, and if the embryo is not formed, your doctor will decide to use an Intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
- In this step, your doctor will monitor the fertilised eggs to make sure that it is dividing and developing.
- The embryos may undergo testing for genetic conditions at the same time.
- In this step, the doctor implants the embryos into the uterus through the vagina and cervix with the help of a catheter.
- This occurs three to five days after fertilisation.
- When the embryo implants itself into the uterine wall, the pregnancy may take 6-10 days. The blood test will determine if you are pregnant or not.
What to expect before and on the day of In Vitro Fertilization?
Before the IVF Surgery
- To check the egg's quality and quantity, the doctor will test the concentration of the follicle-stimulating hormone, oestrogen, and anti-mullerian hormone in your blood during your menstrual cycle.
- You will be advised to take a few blood tests and have a vaginal ultrasound.
- Your doctor will conduct a semen analysis of your male partner before the start of the treatment.
- The doctor will ask both you and your partner to undergo screening for infectious diseases, including HIV.
- Your doctor will practice a mock embryo transfer to determine the depth of your uterine cavity.
- Before the start of the treatment, your doctor will examine the inner lining of your uterus.
- You will receive injectable medication containing follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, or both.
On the day of IVF Procedure
- The doctor will ask you to sign the consent form in the presence of your partner.
- You will be told to drink 20-30 oz of fluid 1 hour before the transfer.
- You will be advised against wearing any fancy loungewear because embryos are sensitive to odours.
- Before embryo transfer, you must undergo a series of verifications.
During the IVF Procedure
- Injectable medications such as follicle-stimulating hormone, a luteinising hormone, or a combination of both, stimulate your ovaries.
- After the final medication, egg retrieval will be done by your doctor. You will be sedated and given pain medication.
- The doctor will use the transvaginal ultrasound method to insert a probe into the vagina to locate follicles.
- With the help of an ultrasound guide, a thin needle is inserted through the vagina into the follicles to retrieve eggs.
- An abdominal ultrasound guide is used if the ovaries aren't accessible through transvaginal ultrasound.
- Multiple eggs are selected through a suction device. This procedure lasts for 20 minutes.
- The doctor will do the embryo transfer after 2-5 days of egg retrieval. An embryo will be implanted in the lining of your uterus after 5-10 days of egg retrieval.
What to expect after In Vitro Fertilization?
After IVF Procedure
- Once the procedure is done, your doctor will advise you to continue your daily activities but avoid any vigorous activity.
- Your ovaries will stay enlarged after the procedure.
- Due to swabbing of the cervix before embryo transfer, there may be a small amount of clear or bloody fluid after the procedure.
- You will have breast tenderness because of your high oestrogen level and might have mild constipation, cramping, and constipation.
First follow-up Appointment
- The first follow-up will be 2-5 weeks after the embryo transfer and pregnancy confirmation. It is usually scheduled when you are 5-6 weeks pregnant.
- Your doctor will perform the first ultrasound to detect the foetal heartbeat.
- This is the time when the doctor confirms whether the pregnancy is single or multiple and if the development is normal.
- The doctor will advise you to eat healthily and do regular pregnancy exercises.
- The doctor will schedule your further timely follow-ups.
When is consultation with the doctor needed?
Seek medical care immediately if you have:
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Severe pain during bowel movements
- Severe pelvic pain
- Moderate to severe cramping or bloating
- An infection, vaginal soreness, or severe pain in the ovaries
- Severe tenderness in your breast
- Feeling tiredness or fatigue
- High fever
Risks of delayed In Vitro Fertilization Surgery?
Risks and complications if the procedure is delayed are:
- Higher chances of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, which causes swelling and pain in the ovaries.
- Higher chances of miscarriage for a woman.
- Higher chances of damage to the bowel, bladder, or blood vessels.
- Increased chances of ectopic pregnancy and birth defects in babies.
Cost of the Surgery
The cost of In Vitro Fertilization ranges from ₹25,000 to ₹1,50,000. The cost varies based on the following factors:
- Type of In Vitro surgery
- Age of the patient
- The medical condition of the patient
- The type of hospital facility availed - individual room or shared.
|In Vitro Fertilization||₹25,000 to ₹1,50,000|
Frequently Asked Questions on In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
What are some Myths and Facts about In Vitro Fertilization?
- Myth: Test-tube babies born are weak.
Fact: Test-tube babies being born are as healthy as normal babies.
- Myth: It works for young couples only.
Fact: It works well for older couples between 30-40 years of age, but is less efficient than for young couples.
- Myth: Fertility drugs will cause cancer.
Fact: No such research findings show that drugs used for IVF can cause cancer.
- Myth: If the first IVF cycle fails, you can’t try again.
Fact: You can go for another round based on your health condition and the fertility specialist’s recommendation.
- Myth: Babies born through IVF have various abnormalities.
Fact: There is no congenital difference in their abilities whether a baby is born through IVF or usually.