I always thought I was living an extended teenage. Even at 36, I still feel 13 inside my head. Naturally, the thought of having a child scared the living daylights out of me. How am I to bring up a child when I feel like a child myself? Only in 2020 when I, like the rest of humankind, was pondering about the meaning of existence and the purpose of life, that I even entertained the thought hypothetically.
As the months passed, what was hypothetical became somewhat palpable. My husband and I finally started having that conversation. We even began arguing about names for our children. Was I finally having maternal instincts in my mid-thirties after they evaded me for the good part of my younger years?
My newfound enthusiasm notwithstanding, there was the niggling question at the back of my mind: “Will I conceive at this age?” My endo won’t make things any easier either.
That’s when IVF offered a glimmer of hope, but I didn’t know the first thing about it. Will it work for me? Am I too old for it? Will it worsen my endometriosis?
In this Q&A, Dr. Apurva Satish Amarnath, Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF Fertility, Kalyan Nagar, Bangalore, sheds light on whether IVF is the right choice for you.
1. What is IVF?
IVF or In Vitro Fertilisation is a process of fertilisation where an egg is combined with sperm in vitro or outside the body.
The process involves monitoring and stimulating a woman’s ovulatory process, removing an ovum or ova from her ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a culture medium in a laboratory. Then the thus formed zygote is implanted in the female’s uterus resulting in pregnancy.
It is one of the techniques used in ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology). Other ART techniques may include ICSI (Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection), IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) etc. which assists couple who are dealing with infertility issues, genetic issues, recurrent miscarriages, sexual intimacy issues, and chance to become parents.
2. How can IVF help people with infertility?
IVF treatment is helpful for everyone who is unable to conceive a child by biological means because of various reasons. If you and your partner have any of the following problems with regard to infertility, IVF may be an option for you.
Women with endometriosis often face infertility. It’s a condition where uterine tissues can implant and develop outside of the uterus.
There could also be a case of unexplained infertility, where despite numerous tests, the cause of infertility has not been identified. Women with such issues can safely opt for IVF.
Some women also suffer from blockage in the fallopian tubes, which prevents the eggs from getting fertilised within the uterus.
Impaired sperm production can also be a cause of infertility. Men who face this problem have slow-moving sperm or have irregularities in its size and structure.
These are some of the causes of infertility, which can all be tackled with IVF.
3. Will IVF cause genetic disorders in babies?
IVF using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is among the most reliable techniques for people who are known carriers of genetic conditions including Cystic Fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and muscular dystrophy to guarantee that a child conceived will not be affected by the condition. Pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS), which checks embryos for chromosomal abnormalities including Down’s syndrome, can increase the likelihood of a favourable outcome.
Also Read: 6 good habits for endometriosis
4. Will IVF help women who suffer continuous miscarriages?
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) allow our fertility specialists to check an embryo for genetic and chromosomal issues that might cause miscarriage. These procedures are a suitable option for those women who have no trouble getting pregnant but frequently miscarry. By using these techniques, the doctor can only implant healthy, chromosomally normal embryos into the uterus, significantly lowering the risk of miscarriage.
Chromosome issues can affect younger women as well as older women, but older women are more likely to experience miscarriages as a result.
5. Can IVF help couples with sexual intimacy problems?
Similarly, a couple dealing with severe sexual intimacy issues like sexual dysfunction in which a person’s sexual desire, arousal, or orgasm is diminished or suppressed can benefit from assisted reproductive technology treatments.
Fertility preservation is also available for individuals who are looking to preserve fertility in the face of a cancer diagnosis or are delaying pregnancy for various factors, gamete freezing(egg or sperm) or even embryo freezing is a viable option.
IVF treatment can solve a wide range of issues in conceiving a child. Many patients who would not otherwise be able to become pregnant benefit from IVF. A successful pregnancy and healthy infant are the ultimate benefits of IVF. For those who would not otherwise be able to have children, IVF can make this a reality.