Fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization have proved to be a boon for women in their 30’s and 40’s who are facing infertility issues related to advanced age. When we talk about women, age and fertility are inversely proportional, which means that as a woman’s age advances, her fertility declines. The reason behind this is that women, unlike men, have a fixed reserve of gametes which get exhausted by the time she reaches her 40’s. This is known as menopause.
There is a common misconception among people that women remain fertile until menopause. While the average age of menopause is around 51, a lot of women are not able to conceive in their 40’s as well. IVF experts suggest that advanced age not only affects the quantity of the oocytes but their quality as well, thereby making it difficult to conceive at an advanced age. Well, there is no need to lose hope as IVF treatment can help you to have a baby despite your advanced age. The procedure which is offered at all the leading fertility and IVF centers has helped hundreds and thousands of women to have a baby in their 40’s.
So, what is IVF? IVF or in vitro fertilization treatment is an assisted reproductive technique, wherein we collect mature eggs from your body and place them in a pool of sperm taken from your partner, to allow the fertilization to take place under suitable conditions. However, this does not work for everyone and in cases where the egg quality is very poor, IVF procedure is carried out with the help of donated eggs.
Women in their late 30’s and 40’s may be recommended to go for donor egg IVF, the reason being that self-egg IVF has comparatively lower success rates at an advanced age. Also, women who wish to have a baby later in life can opt for egg freezing wherein they can freeze their eggs in their 20’s, to be used later when they are ready to have a baby.
IVF procedure is done in various steps which include:
STEP 1 – Ovarian stimulation – You will be given certain medications for inducing follicular development and egg maturation. Ovarian stimulation is important for inducing normal menstrual cycles in women who do not have regular periods. Before starting the stimulation process, fertility testing is done to determine the baseline hormone levels in your body. FSH injections are given to increase the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone in the body as this helps to increase the production of mature eggs. A strong dose of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is given just before ovulation to start the process.
STEP 2 – Egg retrieval – In order to collect the mature eggs from the female’s body, the transvaginal ultrasound aspiration technique will be used. This involves the use of an ultrasound probe which is introduced via the vagina, and a small needle is used to identify the follicles and collect mature eggs. This does not involve any cuts and stitches and the whole procedure takes around 15 to 20 minutes.
Women who do not wish to con
STEP 3 – Sperm retrieval – A sample of sperm will be collected from your partner using non-surgical techniques like penile vibratory stimulation (PVS) and electroejaculation or surgical techniques like Testicular sperm extraction (TESE) and Testicular sperm aspiration (TESA).
STEP 4 – Fertilization – The mature eggs collected from the female are placed in the pool of sperm taken from the male so as to induce fertilization.