- DEFINITION AND MODE: In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the process whereby the fertilization of egg and sperm takes place outside the body, while normal pregnancy fertilization takes place in the uterine tube specifically the ampulla. The IVF procedure includes observation and spurring of a woman’s ovulatory process to remove eggs (ovum or ova) from woman’s ovaries and allowing sperm to fertilize it in a liquid in the laboratory. The fertilized egg (zygote) is left for embryo culture for approximately six days. Afterward, the zygote is placed into the would-be mother’s or any other candidate’s uterus. The objective is to establish a successful pregnancy.
2. LEVEL OF AWARENESS: In the early days and weeks after the transfer of embryo, the biggest difference between a “regular” pregnancy and an IVF pregnancy is the level of awareness. Most women who conceive on their own don’t know that they are pregnant until a month or more into the pregnancy while for an IVF patient, that awareness begins the moment after the embryo is transferred. In practical terms, this can mean that you may be dealing with a higher level of worry and a greater sensitivity to early pregnancy symptoms than many women experience at this stage.
3. MONITORING LEVEL: During the period of an IVF pregnancy, the patient will remain under the care of a fertility clinic.The main difference at this time is that such patient will be tracked more intensively than a patient who conceived naturally. Frequent appointments and ultrasounds every 1 to 2 weeksare required for an IVF patient. You may notice normal pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, cravings, and increased urination.
4. 10 WEEKS AND BEYOND: Approximately by 10 weeks, if all is well, an IVF patient will be released into the care of a “regular” obstetrician. From that day forward, the IVF pregnancy at this point is not distinguishable from a “regular” pregnancy. While it may not be easy to halt worrying until your baby is safely in your arms after delivery, by 12 weeks most patients feel safe sharing the news of their pregnancy with their wider social circle.
5. METHOD: The methods undertaken for IVF procedure include the following:
- Ovarian Hyper-stimulation
- Natural IVF
- Final Maturation Induction
- Egg Retrieval
- Sperm and Egg Preparation
- Embryo Culture
- Embryo Selection
- Embryo Transfer
- Adjunctive Medication
In the other hand, the method for normal pregnancy is Copulation. It is important to note that the physiological processes involved in IVF pregnancy and normal pregnancy are the same, and they both produce normal and healthy babies.It is worthy of note that 40 years of IVF science has proven that majority of these babies appear healthy and are not different from the naturally conceived ones. IVF pregnancy babies have the same congenital malformation rate and risk of miscarriage as babies from normal pregnancy.The health of IVF babies depends largely upon the health of parents and how healthy the eggs are. You will get a healthy and happy baby provided the IVF procedure is done correctly and pregnancy is complete.Also the chance of twins is a little higher in IVF pregnancy due to the transfer of multiple embryos, but this can be restricted with single embryo transfer.
6. SIDE EFFECTS/SYMPTOMS: The side effects/symptoms of In vitro fertilization (IVF) pregnancy include:
- Passing of a small amount of fluid that may be clear or blood-tinged just after the procedure.
- Mild Cramping
- Breast tenderness
- Mild Bloating
- Mood swings
- Abdominal Pain
The side effects/symptoms of normal pregnancy include:
- Leg cramps
- Fluid Retention
- Morning sickness
- Varicose veins
- Sore Breast
It is important to note that the symptoms associated with IVF pregnancy are not different from those of normal pregnancy. The only difference is the extra medicines required to support IVF pregnancy till 10-12 weeks.
7. RISKS INVOLVED IN THE IVF PROCEDURE:
- Vomiting or nausea
- Decrease in the rate of urinary frequency
- Breathing Problem
- Bloating or severe stomach pain
- Weight gain
It is not necessary that risks and complications will be faced by all the patients undergoing IVF procedure. The tendencies of these risks vary from women to women, and depend on the reproductive history and other factors that influence side- effects and risks in pregnancy.