IN VITRO FERTILISATION
IVF is a technique involving stimulation of multiple follicles, retrieving those eggs and fertilizing with sperms in the laboratory followed by embryo transfer to the uterus.
WHAT IS IN-VITRO FERTILIZATION?
You must know what the procedure entails. In normal pregnancy; there is fusion between female egg and male sperm. This fusion, known as fertilization, normally occurs in fallopian tubes in the female reproductive system. However, in IVF this fusion occurs in a test-tube (hence the babies born by this procedure are called test tube babies) in a laboratory. It is an artificial reproductive technique.
After fertilization, these pre-embryos are allowed to divide a few times and are then returned to the mother’s uterus for normal growth. IVF in India, being cheap and easily available, attracts a lot many foreigners.
The steps involved are:
- Egg and sperm retrieval
- Embryo culture & transfer
drugs are used to stimulate ovaries for the development of more than one cell. The growth of follicles is carefully monitored with the help of either blood or urine tests.
when follicles are mature enough for ovulation, an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (H.C.G) is given. After a period of 30-36 hours after injection, eggs are retrieved.
Methods of egg retrieval:
Laparoscopy: carried under general anaesthesia using fine needles.
Ultrasound guided probing: hollow needle is guided through the vagina to the follicles with the help of ultrasound image and the follicles are aspirated. This is done under local anaesthesia and mild sedation. This is the preferred method.
eggs are incubated in a special culture medium to ensure proper maturation. Then, sperms are added for fertilization to take place. It takes place in approximately 24 hours.
Embryos are cultured for 2-5 days and then they are transferred to the mother’s uterus for normal growth. The embryos suspended in tiny droplets of fluid are guided through the vagina using a catheter with the help of ultrasound. Babies conceived through IVF are no different to babies conceived by natural methods.