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In Vitro Fertilization Introduction

Infertility is the inability of a couple to become pregnant (regardless of cause) after 1 year of unprotected sexual intercourse -using no birth control methods.

Infertility affects about 6.1 million people in the United States, about 10% of men and women of reproductive age. New and advanced technologies to help a woman become pregnant include in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and other similar procedures.

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IVF was used successfully for the first time in the United States in 1981. More than 250,000 babies have been born since then as a result of using the in vitro fertilization technique. IVF offers infertile couples a chance to have a child who is biologically related to them.

Factors to Consider : -

  • Age : Women younger than 35 years who do not have problems with their partners' sperm may try IVF.
  • Multiple births : Generally, in women who use IVF to establish a live birth, about 63% are single babies, 32% are twins, and 5% are triplets or more.
  • Cost: One cycle of IVF costs an average of $12,400.

This is how the procedure takes place : -

  • The woman may be given certain drugs (hormones) to stimulate her ovaries to produce several eggs before the procedure to remove them.
  • A surgeon then inserts a needle through the vagina into the woman's ovary to remove eggs. This procedure used to be done with laparoscopic surgery, but the needle technique is much less invasive and much easier. General anesthesia is not required for this part of the procedure, but the woman may be given some sedating medication.
  • The fluid removed is examined in the laboratory to make sure eggs are present.

Success Rate

Techniques for assessing the viability of an embryo when genetic issues are present are cell biopsy and evaluation and pronuclear biopsy and evaluation. The pregnancy rate by age is similar to that of normally conceived pregnancies: 37% among women younger than 35 years and 28% for those aged 36-39 years. The success rate is about 13% in those older than 40 years. Pregnancy in women older than 44 years is rare.

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