Dr. Richa Agarwal 27-01-2016 Consult
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most powerful tools for couples struggling with infertility. It often takes several cycles of IVF for couples to get pregnant. However, the majority of patients are successful after several cycles, making the treatment a great option for many couples with infertility. It's important to be aware of what to expect before deciding to undergo in vitro fertilization so that you are more prepared for the process and the challenges that it may entail. Below, we'll explore some of the factors that influence success, as well as what to expect in terms of the number of cycles.
What is In vitro fertilization (IVF)?
In IVF, eggs are fertilized with sperm outside of the woman's body, and the resulting embryos are transferred to the uterus. During the first part of the procedure, the woman's ovaries are stimulated with medication to mature more eggs than usual without ovulating. Once ready, the eggs are collected using a minimally invasive procedure and fertilized with the partner's sperm. The embryos mature for several days before transfer to the uterus. Extra embryos can be frozen for future use. Within 9-11 days of embryo transfer, pregnancy can be confirmed.
An unsuccessful cycle can be devastating, especially if the couple is unaware that most couples require several treatment cycles to be successful.
When it comes to infertility, IVF may be an option if you or your partner have been diagnosed with:
Who is a Candidate?
For most couples, in vitro fertilization is not the first choice of treatment. Depending on the cause and nature of your infertility, your doctor may recommend methods such as medication or artificial insemination in order to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Only if these methods fail should in vitro fertilization be considered. In vitro fertilization may be considered sooner for patients who are over 40, as well as those who have conditions that make pregnancy without IVF unlikely.
Factors Affecting Success
Numerous factors influence a couple's fertility - there is a great deal of individual variation in terms of the cause of infertility, as well as the factors that surround it. Many factors affect your chances of success with IVF. Some of the most important factors include:
Average Success Rate : On average, about one-third (33%) of patients experience a live birth after their first IVF cycle. For women who go through three cycles, the success rate rises to around 70% of patients.
Plan on More than One Cycle
It's recommended that couples going through IVF come in with the awareness that it may be necessary to undergo several cycles before pregnancy occurs. Although a significant number of people do experience a pregnancy after the first in vitro fertilization cycle, the fact is that the majority goes through several cycles before being successful. Because of this, it's best to go through IVF when you have prepared financially and emotionally for that possibility. For couples going through several IVF cycles, embryo freezing can be an excellent choice. Often, more embryos are created than can be used in a single cycle. In such an instance, it's possible to freeze the embryos for future use. This means that the process of maturing and collecting eggs will not be necessary.
Establish a Stopping Point
It's recommended that couples plan for at least 3 cycles, since that is the point where the majority of couples experience success with the process. However, deciding when to stop is a highly personal decision that should be made after careful consideration, and after consulting with your physician.
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