How Successful is In-Vitro Fertilization?
IVF or in-vitro fertilization is a process sought by couples who face difficulty in getting pregnant after repeated attempts. It is one of the more popular types of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).
What is the Process of IVF?
The first part of IVF involves administering medication to prompt the ovary to ripen and produce healthy eggs. A series of tests involving ultrasound, blood tests and tests for hormone levels are performed to monitor the egg production and ovulation cycle. After the eggs are produced, it is retrieved using a minor surgical procedure.
The obtained cells are then mixed with sperm cells in a laboratory where fertilization occurs. The embryo is then obtained and transferred into the uterus with the help of a thin catheter slid into the cervix and uterus. After approximately 2 weeks, a pregnancy test can be taken to check if the procedure has been successful.
The Success Factors of IVF
The success rate varies from 30 to 50% and there are a number of factors that can influence the results of an IVF treatment and affect the IVF success rates. Listed below are some of the factors that influence the chances of a successful result.
factor: Women are born with a fixed number of eggs that they will be utilizing in their lifetime and after puberty, the eggs start ripening with time and are released for fertilization. However, the number of eggs remaining decrease with age and the chances of pregnancy reduce drastically as well. Women over 40, only have a mere 4% chance of success with IVF treatment.
Previous pregnancies: A successful pregnancy in the past for the same couple can increase the chances of success. A history of miscarriages or a different partner can reduce the chances of success as well.
The underlying cause of fertility problems: Severe sperm defects, uterine abnormalities, fibroid tumors or endometriosis can reduce the chances of a successful pregnancy with IVF. However, some male infertility issues can be overcome with IVF treatment.
Usage of Donor Eggs
In the case where the patient is over 35 years of age, using donor eggs instead of their own eggs can increase the chances of IVF success. Donor eggs are assumed to be of good quality and from younger fertile women, which substantially increases the chances of pregnancy.
Lifestyle Factors that Can Influence IVF Success Rates
Lifestyle habits and exposure to chemicals can influence the hormonal balance and take part in the success of IVF. Smoking can endanger the chances of successful implantation and smokers will also require a higher dose of fertility drugs. Women who are overweight or underweight are also at a greater risk of having less success with IVF.