In vitro fertilization or IVF is one of the most effective methods of reproductive medicine. Conception “in vitro” was the solution for many couples diagnosed with infertility. They resort to it even in the most seemingly hopeless cases. This is how artificial insemination takes place.
By the method of puncture from the ovary of the mother, the eggs are taken. In the laboratory, specialists fertilize oocytes with father`s sperm. Embryos mature in a special incubator under the supervision of doctors, then they are transferred to the uterine cavity.
IVF at a young age
The high level of development of modern reproductive technologies and the professionalism of fertilization clinics make the impossible possible. Today, a woman can become pregnant with IVF and endure a healthy baby after 40 and even after 50. But you need to understand that the probability of success in this case is much lower than if artificial insemination is performed at a younger age. Therefore, it is so important not to lose time if pregnancy is absent during the year of regular sexual activity. The sooner IVF is done, the higher the chances of success.
Female reproductive function persists on average up to 55 years in the absence of menopause. But the optimal age for IVF is considered to be from 18 to 35 years. It was at this time that the woman’s body was most prepared for pregnancy and childbirth. The effectiveness of a successful conception according to the IVF protocol on the first attempt is even higher than the probability of becoming pregnant naturally. The indicator depends on age:
- up to 25 years old – 75%;
- 25-29 years old – 61%;
- 30-35 – 62%.
IVF is often prescribed to women under 35 years old. The main indications for this procedure are:
- hormonal disruptions in the body;
- obstruction of the fallopian tubes due to surgery or physiological pathologies;
- inflammatory diseases;
- infertility of unknown origin;
- incompatibility of partners;
- violation of the natural processes of sperm excretion in the father.
IVF is prescribed by a reproductologist after a thorough examination of the couple.
In Vitro Fertilization Difficulties
Artificial conception is a complex procedure, which consists of several stages. Each may have certain difficulties.
- Stimulation of superovulation. During the cycle in the ovaries 1 egg is produced, very rarely 2. For extracorporeal conception, it is necessary to increase the production of oocytes. Therefore, a woman is prescribed hormonal stimulation. Success depends on the state of health. Therefore, before entering the protocol should undergo a thorough examination. If the ovarian reserve is reduced and the first stimulation does not produce results, the procedure can be repeated.
- Puncture of the ovaries. On the 13-15th day of the cycle, the oocytes are ready for collection. The doctor punctures the ovaries through the abdominal cavity. The fence is carried out by a special vacuum suction. Cells are placed in a nutrient medium. Then, a sampling of the seminal fluid in a man is carried out. If necessary, sperm are frozen until a certain period. Problems at this stage may be related to the quality of the eggs. As a rule, medication helps. In very rare severe cases, the couple may resort to donor biomaterials.
- Fertilization. The procedure is performed by the embryologist in the laboratory. The ICSI protocol is most often used to increase the chances of success. On the recommendation of the reproductologist, several eggs are fertilized. The main difficulty lies in the amount of material. If the egg is one, the doctor resorts to the introduction of the highest quality sperm into the oocyte using micro-tools.
- Embryo ripening. Fertilized eggs mature for 5 days in a plate incubator under constant observation. Every day, experts record the development of embryos. It is important to track all the initial stages of development. A blastocyst does not always develop correctly, in which case it is impossible to obtain a high-quality embryo ready for transfer to the uterus. Then you need to repeat the protocol with better cells.
In some cases, preimplantation diagnostics is additionally performed. It allows you to identify genetic and chromosomal abnormalities before the transfer of embryos into the uterus. Indications: genetic factors in parents, previous self-abortions, etc. The decision is made before the start of the protocol.
- Maternal embryo replanting. The procedure is performed using a soft catheter, which is inserted into the cervical canal. The transfer is carried out in a period called the “implantation window”. How successful the transfer will be depends on many factors: the quality of the embryos, the physical and psychological state of the mother, the readiness of the endometrium. Therefore, in some cases, it is necessary to repeat the protocol of artificial conception.
There are also general contraindications for IVF:
- physical and psychological diseases;
- neoplasms: malignant and benign;
- genitourinary cancer;
- sexually transmitted diseases.
Most of these problems can be solved with proper treatment.
Age restrictions: how old can a woman become pregnant?
We have already said that IVF after 35 has less chance of success. This is due to depletion of the ovarian reserve. Every year, less and less quality oocytes are produced, the chances of becoming a genetic mother are lower. It is important not to miss the moment.
It is best to carry out IVF up to 42-43 years. Then the chances of success are quite high. But even after this age, becoming a mother is possible. There are different ways to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. One of them is to use donor eggs. An experienced doctor will help you find an individual solution.