What is In Vitro Fertilization?
In vitro fertilization, also known as IVF, is a method of assisted fertility. It is a method recommended for use in cases where pregnancy has not occurred after at least one year of sexual intercourse without protection. The procedure for in vitro fertilization involves combining sperm and an egg in a dish in a laboratory. If the fertilization is successful, a doctor transfers the resulting embryo to the woman’s womb where it will continue to develop naturally.
How is In Vitro Fertilization Carried Out?
In Vitro Fertilization is a process that takes place under carefully controlled conditions and consists of five separate steps:
- The doctor prescribes a series of fertility medications. This is to ensure that the eggs ripen at the right time and that there are a number of eggs to collect. Monitoring of the eggs takes place via ultrasound and a series of blood and urine tests.
- When the eggs are ready for harvesting, the doctor carries out a minor medical procedure known as follicular aspiration. He administers a local anesthetic, accompanied by sedation and removes the eggs using a hollow needle, guided by ultrasound imaging.
- Sperm is collected.
- Both eggs and sperm are stored in incubators that will ideally allow for fertilization. Strict monitoring takes place to confirm whether fertilization is successful or not.
- Embryo transfer takes place up to 6 days after fertilization. The doctor opens the vagina with a specialized instrument called a speculum, and transfers a number of embryos into the womb via a catheter. Again, ultrasound imaging guides the process.
For most women, this is a painless procedure although some cramping may occur the day afterwards. Following the procedure, the woman must rest. The doctor monitors her carefully, using ultrasound and blood tests, to know if the transfer was successful and resulted in a viable pregnancy.
Preparing for In Vitro Fertilization
To improve your chances of a successful pregnancy, both parents should be as healthy as possible. A healthy diet is essential along with a good balance of vitamins and minerals and a regular exercise regime. Both parents should be at or near their ideal weight, as being under or overweight can affect the results.
Some things to avoid while preparing for in vitro fertilization are alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine and, if possible, drugs. If you are taking prescribed medicines, your doctor may ask you to stop using them, replace them or postpone the IVF. It’s also recommended that both parents take stress counseling and learn how prepare emotionally and mentally for the results of the IVF. A simple but extremely effective way to reduce stress and improve your general health is to get plenty of quality sleep.
The Success Rates and Cost of In Vitro Fertilization
Sadly, not every couple will be successful on their first attempt at in vitro fertilization. In some cases, several attempts may be necessary. The success rate in general is quite high although it depends greatly on the age of the woman, and the health and genetics of both parents.
In the USA, the average cost of In Vitro Fertilization is around $15,000 USD per treatment session. The cost for this same treatment in Mexico is almost 1/3 of the cost, with an average of $4000 to $6000 per session.
high out of pocket costs for this treatment in the US. As a consequence, Mexico has become a popular affordable alternative for couples seeking IVF. Almater Hospital in Mexicali, Mexico is happy to help those willing to travel south of the border achieve their dream of parenthood.
Please call for information and answers to all of your questions.