The In Vitro Fertilization is a multifaceted procedure, and the fertilization is an essential step. The IVF procedure involves the retrieval of eggs from the mother’s ovaries, and the fertilization of these with sperm in a lab dish. If the fertilization is successful, the embryo will be introduced in the womb of the mother to be. The pregnancy success rates of IVF are various and may depend on numerous aspects.
The Fertilization Process
The woman patient will receive medication treatment, which helps the maturation of the eggs. The eggs are retrieved through the vagina using a syringe. The eggs are then washed and placed in a lab dish. Meanwhile, the sperm will be collected from the father or a donor and will be washed and deposited in a different lab dish, which may be frozen or used immediately.
The 2 lab dishes containing the eggs and the sperm will be needed during the fertilization procedure. The eggs and the sperm will be placed together and left for up to 18 hours. Alternatively, the sperm will be placed in a syringe and injected in the eggs; this is recommended if the sperm has motility below normal. This procedure is also known as intracytoplasmatic sperm injection.
Ideally, this procedure should happen within 4 hours after the eggs are retrieved. The safest margin for the fertilization is during the first 12 hours after the eggs are retrieved. After injected with sperm, the eggs will be monitored for signs of fertilization. This process may take 2 to 3 days. If the fertilization has taken place, the eggs have transformed into an embryo and the following step is to introduce the embryo in the mother’s womb, where it will turn into a fetus.
The pregnancy success rates after a fertilization procedure are between 25 and 55%. The success rates depend on a few things including the age of the woman, her health, the success of the fertilization procedure and the quality of the sperm.
The diet and the stress levels of the mother have been proven to influence the outcome of the IVF procedure. The live birth rate may differ from the actual pregnancy rates, as some pregnancies may result in abortions or stillborn babies.
Risks and Side Effects of In Vitro Fertilization
The fertilization process may not always be successful. Some patients may require several cycles to get a viable embryo implanted in their uterus, while others may try over 10 times and don’t get a successful result.
The skills of the fertility doctor are essential, as the fertilization is a micro procedure and the eggs may be damaged while injecting the sperm (or while being handled in the lab).
Other side effects of the IVF include the fact that the pregnancy may result in twins or triplets. This is due to the fact that when the ovaries are stimulated, several eggs may be produced and these may be all retrieved and fertilized.