In-vitro fertilization (IVF) can be a very beneficial and effective treatment for some groups of patients.
The eggs are then retrieved from the ovaries and the man’s sperm are then allowed to fertilize the eggs outside the body.
Once the eggs begin growing they are inserted into the woman’s uterus in the hope implantation and pregnancy will occur.
The main benefit of IVF is that it allows couples to overcome the common causes of infertility listed below.
Some couples do not have a diagnosed reason for their infertility. This is called unexplained infertility. IVF allows egg and sperm to join together outside of the woman’s body and start growing in a controlled, monitored environment free from any harmful influences.
Severe Tubal Disease
Some women have extensively damaged fallopian tubes from pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or from severe intra-abdominal infections. IVF is designed to bypass the tubes by allowing conception to occur outside the body. The fertilized eggs are then introduced into the uterus in the hope of pregnancy.
IVF allows women who are being treated for cancer with chemotherapy to be able to have children. Chemotherapy can destroy or damage the eggs within the ovary. Prior to undergoing chemotherapy treatment, some women may elect to have eggs harvested, frozen, and saved for possible subsequent attempts to have a child after the cancer treatment is completed.
Low Sperm Counts
When sperm are defective or counts are extremely low, IVF can be used to become pregnant. IVF can work for these conditions because sperm are placed directly next to the egg, and, in some cases, sperm are injected into the egg (ICSI) to allow pregnancy to occur.
IVF can be used for a woman without ovaries. In this unique situation, eggs must be donated from another woman.
IVF treatment can allow a woman to have a child if she does not have a uterus. The eggs must harvested from the patient’s ovaries and are then placed inside another woman’s uterus (gestational carrier).
IVF can be used to allow women over the age of 42 to have better chances at becoming pregnant.
To obtain this reproductive advantage, donated eggs (eggs from another woman younger than 30) must be used.
IVF in Summary
IVF can be a very beneficial treatment for couples with any of the above problems causing infertility.
For women who have had their tubes tied then having their tubes untied may be the single best step to allow natural conception and pregnancy to occur.
When tubal ligation is the only cause of infertility, then tubal ligation reversal can often be the best choice for women.