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What Is IVF Pregnancy?

In the realm of assisted reproductive technology, IVF, or In Vitro Fertilization, has become a well-known term. This article explains what IVF pregnancy is and how it differs from natural conception.

  • 06 Nov 2023
  • 3 min read
  • 156 views

IVF, or In Vitro Fertilisation, is a medical technological advancement that helps infertile couples. It is the process of fusing sperm with an egg outside the body in a laboratory (in vitro) and implanting the grown embryo inside the womb of a woman. IVF has proven to be a boon for infertility treatment, and nowadays it constitutes a modest proportion of live births. This technology can be applied for a variety of issues causing infertility like tubal blockage, endometriosis, PCOS, and many other conditions. 

 

IVF pregnancy explained

IVF is the most common and effective therapy that comes under the reign of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). ART involves many more fertility related technologies where eggs/sperm/embryos are manipulated to achieve a successful pregnancy. IVF is done in the following situations:

  • Blockage in the fallopian tube
  • Endometriosis i.e. unwanted thickness of the uterine wall
  • Fibroids in the uterus
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Any other uterine disease
  • Advanced age of the female partner
  • Genetic abnormality running in the family
  • Abnormal sperm count and health
  • Any fertility related health issues in either of the partners

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The IVF technology and treatment include the following steps:

  • Ovarian stimulation is done to retrieve eggs from the female reproductive organs (ovaries). This is performed through various procedures to achieve different levels of stimulation as per the requirement.
  • Retrieval of eggs from the ovaries is done by using an ultrasound-guided transvaginal aspiration and intravenous sedation.
  • Sperm (through ejaculation) is isolated and washed in media with a high protein concentration to make it more fertilisable.
  • They are manually combined in a lab under experimental conditions to make a fused egg.
  • The fertilised egg is allowed to grow to form an embryo.
  • The embryo is transplanted inside the uterus. This transfer is done either 3 days or 5 days post-fertilisation. Allowing the embryo to grow and form a mass of cells called a blastocyst (5 days), which in turn is needed to maximise the live birth.
  • Pregnancy continuation under strict medical supervision is done to achieve a live birth. Once the embryo has attached itself to the uterus wall, a blood test is done after 14 days to confirm the release of enough HCG hormone, which in turn confirms pregnancy. The pregnancy then goes on as usual but is properly supervised.
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