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IVF has come as a boon for those who face fertility-related complications. According to the Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction, infertility currently affects about 10 to 14 per cent of the Indian population, with higher rates in urban areas where one out of six couples is impacted. The common causes of infertility are tubal blocks, anovulation, endometriosis, genital tuberculosis, fibroids, and uterine shape anomalies in the female. Male factor infertility stems from absent sperm count, low sperm count, ejaculatory dysfunction and genital tract defects in the male.
IVF is a boon for those who face these complications. There are several methods for treating infertility but In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a common, safe, and effective procedure. Fertility treatments such as IVF deal with a woman’s egg and a man’s sperm.
After extracting eggs from a woman’s body, they are then fertilized with sperms and cultured outside the human body, in an incubator to form embryos. Once eggs are fertilized, the embryos are put back in the woman’s uterus, two to five days after an extraction. Four weeks are needed for one full procedure of IVF. Once, the IVF cycle begins, it takes up to six weeks until a pregnancy can be detected. The success rate of IVF ranges from 35 per cent to 55 per cent and more than often several cycles may be needed for conceiving.
IVF is a safe procedure with only about 2 per cent of patients facing complications like ovarian hyper-stimulation, ectopic pregnancy and miscarriages. Multiple pregnancies are more common in IVF than natural conception. Women with IVF conception are at higher risk of preterm birth, growth restriction, placental insufficiency, pregnancy-induced hypertension, placental accidents than spontaneous conceptions.
The rate of malformation in the fetus is the same in IVF as of spontaneous conception. A child delivered with IVF technique is no different from normal children. Overall the procedure is reasonably safe with very few side effects. IVF does involve frequent injectable however there is no requirement of hospitalization. The egg collection and embryo transfer are done as a daycare procedure.
The recent advantage in IVF includes ICSI, PGD assisted hatching, blastocyst transfer. Artificial Intelligence helps fertility specialists select the embryo that is most likely to succeed. An artificial intelligence model- Embryo Ranking Intelligent Classification Algorithm (ERICA), can predict euploidy. The AI-based Classification Algorithm can assist embryologists in the embryo selection process by successfully ranking blastocysts based on their accuracy to predict ploidy and pregnancy results, without the need for time-lapse incubators or invasive preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy.
The success rate of IVF depends on several factors such as age, cause of infertility, duration of Marriage, biological and hormonal conditions. The success rate is higher in couples below the age of 35 years. Below the age of 35, IVF is successful in over 40 % of cases. Lifestyle modifications such as diet, exercise, quitting smoking & alcohol/ substance abuse and stress-free life can improve the success rate.
Trans-saturated fats such as fried foods, margarine and vegetable oils should be avoided. The emphasis should be on vitamin and folic acid-rich diets. Increasing water and fibre intake help in optimize results. Eating nuts such as almonds, walnuts, olive oil, corn, chia seeds, and flaxseed oil are highly recommended because these help in improving eggs quality. Smoking, alcohol, hookah and recreational drugs will all have a detrimental effect on sperm and egg quality.
To conclude, IVF gives every couple a chance of attaining parenthood, Each infertility journey is different and no couple should be deprived of the joy of parenthood. IVF strives to offer a tried and tested solution to various causes of Infertility and helps couples to achieve their dream of a complete family.