FAQs - IVF/ICSI
In vitro fertilisation is a process of fertilisation where an egg is combined with sperm outside the body, in vitro. The process involves monitoring and stimulating a woman's ovulatory process, removing an ovum or ova from the woman's ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a culture medium in a laboratory.
Who should undergo ICSI treatment?
InVitro Fertilization/Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (IVF/ICSI) - this is done when:
both the tubes are blocked
severe male factor issues (very low sperm count or no sperms requiring testicular sperm aspiration)
low ovarian reserve (less no of eggs in the ovaries)
failed IUI cycles
moderate to severe endometriosis
fertility preservation in cancer patients
genetic disorder requiring preimplantation genetic testing
need for surrogacy
How does the IVF process work?
IVF process consists of the following steps:
Ovarian stimulation: you will take ovarian stimulating drugs, and your doctor will monitor your progress with blood tests and ultrasounds. Once you've grown enough good-sized follicles, you'll have the egg retrieval
Egg retrieval: In this step, eggs are taken out from the female's ovary by using a needle under light sedation. Further, eggs are placed in a dish containing nutrient media and shifted to the incubator.
ICSI: In the ICSI process, a tiny needle, called a micropipette, is used to inject a single sperm into the center of the egg and then placed back in the incubator.
Embryo transfer: If fertilization takes place, and the embryos are healthy, hormone levels are normal , an embryo or two will be transferred to your uterus, via a catheter placed through the cervix, two to five days after the retrieval. Its is a painless procedure and doesn’t require anaesthesia. Any remaining embryos are frozen.
How long do I have to take the fertility injections?
The length of time that you will be taking the injections will depend on the In-Vitro Fertilizations (IVF) protocol chosen. Typically, patients receive injections for 8 to 10 days, but can be a little longer or lesser
Do I need to visit the hospital regularly?
It is particularly important that patients undergoing IVF treatment come for monitoring when required. Ultrasound is done to see how the follicles are developing in the ovaries, which helps in the titrating the dosage as required. Patients should be prepared to attend daily after day 5 of stimulation but, if the follicles are growing slowly, it is possible to have some day’s off. When most of the follicles are of adequate size, the trigger injections are given.
How much time does the entire IVF procedure take?
From 2nd day of period to embryo transfer - Approximately 15 days
How long does egg retrieval take?
Typically egg retrieval will take around 20-30 mins, it is done under short general anaesthesia. But, the length of the procedure may vary depending on how many follicles are present and how easy is it to reach the ovaries with the ultrasound probe.
Can I smoke or drink alcohol?
No it increases the chances of failure because of poor quality of Sperms & Eggs.
Is it safe to take herbal supplements?
During IVF treatment, herbal supplements may cause unknown effects and it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking any kind of herbal medications.
When is the blood pregnancy test performed?
The blood pregnancy test is performed 14 days after the embryo transfer.
If pregnancy is achieved by IVF or ICSI, then do we need bed rest during the rest of pregnancy?
Absolute bed rest is not needed but we instruct the female partner to abstain from excessive work and to avoid intercourse for few weeks.
Is there any complication during the IVF or ICSI treatment?
Complication called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome may happen during this treatment. It is more common in younger women and for women with Polycystic Ovaries. To avoid this physician always keeps a check on growing follicles and titrates the doses of hormonal injections. If there is still risk, then we do not transfer the embryos in that particular cycle and Freeze them to transfer later on. Chances of this complication are very low and usually treated in a conservative manner.
Why does IVF fail?
IVF fails mainly because of two reasons. One is due to quality of embryos and second is failure of implantation.
When egg donation is advised?
It is advised when the female partner has less or no eggs in her ovaries.
Are IVF pregnancies higher risk?
Pregnancies arising from IVF are often thought to be at higher risk than spontaneously conceived pregnancies, but this perception is because of the high rate of multiple pregnancies and associated risks of prematurity
Do IVF babies have higher health risks?
With more than 6 million babies born from IVF, we are getting a very reassuring picture of their health. There is some evidence that IVF babies conceived after fresh embryo transfer are born a little smaller than spontaneously conceived babies while babies born after frozen thaw transfer are slightly larger than spontaneously conceived babies.
There is no difference in the risk of congenital abnormalities between babies born through IVF and those naturally conceived.
Many IVF babies are now healthy parents of naturally conceived children!
Are IVF twins identical?
Most IVF twins are born as a result of two embryos being transferred into the uterus at the same time and both implanting. These embryos came from different eggs and are therefore not identical.
How successful are infertility treatments?
On an average, the success rates with IUI is around 15-20% & 40-50% with IVF.
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