What is Involved with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?

Couples who are in the Jupiter, Florida area and are struggling with infertility may find relief through various fertility procedures now available. Infertility may be extremely burdensome for those suffering from it and may lead to stress and frustration. Thankfully, through advancements in science and medicine, many have overcome this condition and have successfully conceived. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that involves the combination of sperm and eggs in a laboratory to create embryos, which are then transferred to the uterus where they may implant in the uterine wall and develop. 'In vitro' means 'in glass' in Latin, describing the glass dish used to combine the sperm and eggs to create the embryos.

The female partner may be given fertility drugs to help stimulate the ovary to develop several mature eggs required for fertilization. Some women may choose not to take fertility drugs, but this may decrease the odds of developing additional eggs in a particular cycle. Women are closely monitored while on the drugs, as individuals may respond to fertility drugs in different ways. Some complain of flushing or headaches while taking fertility medications.

The woman's temperature will be monitored, as well as the status of her hormones. An ultrasound may be conducted about three to six days before ovulation to make sure eggs are ready to be retrieved. A cycle of IVF may take about four to six weeks to complete, and the partners may expect to spend half a day or so at the clinic for egg retrieval and then the fertilization procedure. Egg retrieval is done using an anesthetic. Ultrasound is used to identify the eggs and a fine needle the eggs are retrieved under the guidance of ultrasound. The procedure takes about 15 to 30 minutes with minimal pain after the procedure. The female partner must return a few days later for the transfer of the embryos to the uterus.

The success of IVF may be known 10 to 14 days after the embryos are transferred to the uterus when a pregnancy test will be taken. If it is negative after two weeks, the procedure has failed. Couples may enjoy varying success rates with this procedure, as women who are older may have lower rates of success than women who are under the age of 35. Age is not a strict determining factor for success, however, as other factors, such as the cause of infertility, may come into play as well.

There is a risk of multiple births with IVF, as some reports indicate that about 10 to 25% of females who have a successful IVF pregnancy have twins. The more embryos implanted, the higher the risk of multiple births. Normally, the chance of having twins is about 1 in 90, so the chances are obviously much higher with IVF. Those concerned with multiple births should consult a fertility specialist in the Jupiter area for more information and to determine their own risk of multiple births, as well as possible success rates for the procedure.

Learn more about in vitro fertilization in Jupiter, Florida.

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