IVF or In Vitro Fertilisation has been constantly proving to be a boon for couples who have not been able to conceive a baby naturally. In scientific practise, I see couples approach the experts with the hope that IVF will finally give them the chance to experience parenthood.
Most people don’t realise that infertility is a complex problem that can be caused due to a plethora of reasons. IVF success rates are progressively improving with expertise, experience and emerging technologies.
Due to the lack of information, people may find it tricky to have a successful IVF. To clear the air HerZindagi exclusively spoke to Dr Durga Rao Co-founder and Medical Director at Oasis Fertility. She suggested some important factors that may have an impact on the outcome of an IVF cycle.
The success of IVF is impacted by the woman’s age. Statistics show that younger women have a higher chance of getting pregnant with IVF when compared to older women. Women younger than 35 have a better chance of a successful IVF due to biological factors.
After the age of 40, the success rates drop significantly. Although success rates drop with age, you should still explore IVF options, as the success of the treatment is dependent on your unique body and medical history.
The Quality & Quantity Of Eggs
Both the quality and quantity of eggs drop as the woman ages. It is important to note that the quality and the quantity of the eggs are not the same things.
Egg reserve is the number of eggs found in the ovaries. At birth, the ovaries contain one to 2 million eggs. This number decreases through the years and once there are less than 1000 eggs in the ovaries, irregular menstrual cycles eventually lead to menopause.
Egg quality refers to the probability of implantation of embryos. Age or other factors can cause the eggs to have genetic abnormalities. An egg carrying the wrong number of chromosomes, for example, may not lead to implantation. If implantation occurs, the chances of miscarriage are high.
Chances of successful IVF lowers when a woman has poor egg quality or quantity. The factors like diet, exposure to pollutants, lack of exercise, and being overweight can contribute to the decreased quantity and quality of eggs. But do not despair. Talk to your doctor to know how to improve the chances of pregnancies.
Quality Of Sperm
Just like the quantity and quality of eggs, the quantity and quality of sperms are also an important factor that determines the success of IVF. The normal sperm count is 15 million sperm per millilitre of semen. A sedentary lifestyle, obesity, diet can all contribute to the poor quality and quantity of the sperms. A change in lifestyle can help improve the numbers.
The Facilities In The IVF Laboratory
The most modern laboratories that are equipped with the latest technology will lead to a much better IVF success rate. With each step in the process being crucial in contributing to the result, the laboratory offering these procedures must undergo regular quality checks. The clinicians, scientists and technologists must also undertake a periodical upgrade of skills and knowledge.
Embryo Transfer Technique
Embryo transfer is the process where the embryos are transferred from the laboratory environment to the woman’s uterus. It is the last step of IVF. For a successful pregnancy, the embryo must attach itself to the uterine wall. A few days prior to the embryo transfer, the specialist will retrieve eggs from the ovaries (how to deal with ovarian cyst) and select the best quality eggs.
These will then be fertilised and allowed to develop in the laboratory. When the embryos are ready, the embryos will be transferred in the uterus. An ultrasound may be used for increased accuracy. A perfect embryo transfer technique increases the chances of a successful IVF manifold.
Pelvic disorders like endometriosis, fibroids, and pelvic inflammatory infections (how to avoid UTI) can reduce the success rates of IVF treatment. These issues like endometriosis and fibroids can make it difficult for the embryos to get attached to the uterine wall. If the woman suffers from infections, the environment inside the womb can become unsuitable for the embryo to develop.
The success rate of IVF depends on many factors, such as “patients' age, medical issues, as well as the clinic's treatment approach. It is important to choose an IVF centre that has deep domain expertise, state of the art technologies, error-free, accident-free and easily accessible facilities. These parameters play a crucial role in the success of IVF cycles,” concluded Dr Durga Rao.
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