How Does One Become Pregnant Through In Vitro Fertilization?
In recent times, more and more women are putting off having children until their 30s and even 40s. For many women, this is completely natural and they are able to conceive children relatively easily despite aging. However, for many other women, this simply is not the case. As we get older, our bodies slow down in many different ways, and the reproductive system is no different. But thankfully with the advent of modern science, doctors are now able to provide fertility treatment to help women conceive. In Vitro fertilization is one such procedure. Basically, how In Vitro fertilization works is that a woman’s eggs and a man’s sperm are artificially combined by doctors in a petri dish and fertilized into a zygote. These fertilized eggs are then re-inserted into the woman’s uterus through the birth canal.
Before retrieving eggs for artificial fertilization, there must first be injections of GnRH agonist to calm down your pituitary gland in your brain which is responsible for various hormones in your body. This makes your body more welcoming to other hormones that will be injected. You will then be given hormones that will stimulate your ovaries and increase egg production which is known as ovulation. With your ovaries producing more eggs, this will increase the chances of you successfully conceiving because there will be more eggs for the doctors to fertilize. You could even think of this technique as a sort of “shotgun” strategy; the more eggs that get retrieved and fertilized, the more of a chance you will have of “hitting” the bulls eye of conception. This procedure does involve the penetration of the ovary with a needle, but women are usually given an anesthetic to deal with this pain.
Upon completion of fertilization of the eggs with the male’s sperm, the eggs are placed back into the uterus to be implanted on the uterus wall in hopes of becoming a pregnancy. If you are a woman whose ovaries are either non-functioning or are absent (say, because of surgical removal), then it is still possible to receive donor eggs from another woman.
As far as risks are concerned, scientists are still uncertain, but there may indeed be a greater chance of birth defects as well as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. More research needs to be done on the risks of IVF, but most women do not experience major side effects. The cost of IVF is another factor to look at. On average, it is between $10,000 and $15,000 for one round of treatment.
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Make no mistake, In Vitro Fertilization is a very imperfect medical technique and the success rates are not as high as one might hope: for women under the age of 35 who receive IVF treatment, only about 30-40% of them have successful pregnancies, and by the age of 43, this percentage rate shrinks to a mere 10%. Do not expect any guarantees.
But do no be discouraged! Sometimes, it may not work the first try, but many women in their late 30s and 40s have had successful pregnancies after trying several times with IVF treatment. There are also other natural tips that women can follow in order to increase their chances of having a successful conception. For one thing, live a healthy lifestyle! Your body is like a car. You have to feed it the right stuff, and you have to use it, not abuse it. This includes eating healthy, nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and being social, meditating, and being happy. The healthier you are overall, the greater the likelihood that you will conceive.
Watch a visual guide on how IVF works: