“My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for more than a year now, but to no avail!. I am thinking about meditating because that may help me conceive!” Well, you may want to rethink your idea about meditating to help you get pregnant – it does not always work. However, you may want to consider IVF treatments. In vitro fertilization or IVF is a simple treatment for the problem of infertility in which a medical professional pulls out required eggs from the female body and then fecundates these eggs with chosen sperm from her partner. As this fertilization process takes places out of torso, the newly made fertilized ovum is then directed to the female uterus with an expectation that the egg will implant and grow into a complete term child. This article explains about why IVF treatment in Needed?
Who needs IVF?
You may be having one or more of these problems. If you do, you definitely need IVF!
- Low sperm count
- Poor ovarian reserve
- Problems with ovulation
- Problems with the fallopian tubes
- Inherited genetic disorders
- Advanced age
Low sperm count – Some men simply do not make enough sperm to fertilize their partner’s eggs. Pregnancy is very difficult for most people to achieve because of the many obstacles sperm faces when attempting to fertilize a woman’s egg. For example, most women’s vaginal walls are highly acidic and will kill any sperm coming into contact with it. Additionally, sperm has flagellae which help it swim up the vaginal canal into the fallopian tubes, but it needs help from the mucus which the woman’s cervix secretes. If the mucus is very thick and hard to penetrate, the sperm will have a very difficult time swimming up to where the egg is. As a general rule, only 100 sperm survive to enter the fallopian tubes, and out of those hundred sperm, only one fertilizes the egg. Men need many millions of sperm in their semen to achieve successful pregnancies.
Poor ovarian reserve – Some women simply don’t have many eggs in their ovaries, or the follicles they do have may not be capable of producing eggs which are healthy enough to be fertilized – many times, eggs do not divide even after having been fertilized by the sperm, or the sperm simply does not fertilize the egg because it (the egg) is of such low quality. These women may go through early menopause and they will almost always have difficulty in getting pregnant.
Problems with ovulation – Many women have hormonal issues which cause them not to ovulate, or not to ovulate regularly. One such example is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS have don’t produce enough estrogen and do not ovulate with every period. These women may need IVF because they usually have difficulty getting pregnant on their own. IVF includes a whole suite of medicines like Clomid which are designed to ‘regulate’ a woman’s hormones and stimulate her ovaries to release a mature egg with each period. Some women don’t have PCOS, but they may not get their period regularly or every month. These women have unique and rare hormonal disorders which make pregnancy difficult or impossible for them. They often need IVF to get pregnant.
Problems with the fallopian tubes – Some women have tubes which are blocked because of scarring. Many sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia can cause infections which can cause irreversible damage in the fallopian tubes in the form of scarring. The egg, no matter how healthy or viable it is, will not be able to travel down the tubes to get fertilized. Ectopic pregnancies (pregnancies where the fertilized egg develops in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus) may be rare but can cause irreversible and sometimes irreparable damage to the tubes which prevents fertilization.
Inherited genetic disorders – Some women have genetic disorders like blood clotting which either prevents them from getting pregnant, or causes them to constantly miscarry once they become pregnant.
Endometriosis – Women whose uterine linings are too thick have this problem. The fertilized egg usually has difficulty implanting into their uterine walls and they have a very hard time getting pregnant. These women tend to have extremely painful periods as well!
Advanced age – The old wives tale that getting and staying pregnant gets harder as a woman ages is at least partially true. Women’s eggs decline in quality as they get older. They can have a harder time getting pregnant and tend to miscarry more often (a third of all first pregnancies for women over the age of 35 end in miscarriage!)
How IVF can help
IVF has a success rate of up to 80% in most clinics. Sometimes, the success rate is even higher than that. The process has five simple steps:
- The woman is given many medications which stimulate her ovaries to produce many mature eggs
- The eggs are retrieved within 36 hours of medicines being given. Sperm samples are also collected during this time period
- The eggs are inseminated and fertilized by the sperm in a lab dish
- The fertilized egg develops into an embryo in the lab setting
- The embryos are transferred back to the uterus through a transvaginal catheter where they grow into healthy fetuses.
Trained doctors are able to observe the fertilized eggs as they grown into embryos and analyze them to determine which will be most successful when transferred to the woman’s uterus. Women who are of advanced age (42 or above), who have trouble ovulating or getting pregnant in general, or who have infertile partners have found IVF procedures to be very effective in terms of creating and expanding their families. It helps women who are missing fallopian tubes, or women whose partners have very low sperm counts, qualities, or both!
IVF is a ‘godsend’ for many
Fortunately, most women of any age will never need IVF, but those who do can turn to modern technology to help them become and stay pregnant! So now you and your husband can breathe a sigh of relief!