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IVF : Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Published on March 04, 2022
  • Updated on July 30, 2022
IVF : Advantages & Disadvantages

IVF is a term that has been around for a long time. Every couple that wishes to hear happy cries in their home should be given the option and support to do so. IVF is one such assisted reproductive technology that can help couples fulfill their dream of parenthood. IVF has helped more than 8 million babies worldwide and is one of the best options for couples who cannot conceive naturally after trying for more than 1 year. 

With the help of expert insights from Dr. Muskaan Chhabra, a leading infertility specialist, at Birla Fertility & IVF, we will understand more about the advantages and disadvantages of IVF.

Before we get a better understanding of IVF’s advantages and disadvantages, it’s essential to know what is IVF and the infertility treatment options available at Birla Fertility & IVF.

IVF is a medical procedure in which a sperm is attached to an egg for fertilisation in a test tube or a petri dish in a laboratory for the formation of embryos. Fertility doctors offer personalised treatment plans to help make it a successful pregnancy if it is suggested to visit a fertility expert who can outline the entire procedure and point out all advantages and disadvantages so that the couple can make an informed decision. Following are the infertility treatment options offered to the couple:-

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a treatment offered to couples before moving to IVF. Artificial insemination is a fertility procedure in which healthy and viable sperm are put directly inside the uterus.

Ovulation Induction

Necessary hormones are given to women to stimulate egg development and help in ovulation. Doctors may suggest you take these hormonal injections at home as these drugs have been designed to induce ovulation in women who are not able to ovulate during their ovulation cycle. These cases usually arise in women with irregular menstrual cycles.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI is a procedure in which the IVF specialist injects a healthy sperm directly into the uterus for fertilisation by bypassing the stage where the sperm has to penetrate the egg naturally.

Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

Frozen embryo transfer is an option for couples who plan to get pregnant later in their life or who are suffering from genetic disorders. People suffering from genetic disorders or have ovulatory disorders plan to freeze their healthy sperm and eggs to transfer the best eggs and sperm to the uterus.  

Blastocyst Culture

It is when only a single selected embryo, after fertilising, i.e. on the 5th or 6th day, is transferred to the uterus to avoid multiple pregnancies.

LAH | Laser Assisted Hatching

Laser-Assisted hatching is a producer done after blastocyst culture. It is for patients who have a history of repeated IVF failures, or have advanced age, or patients who have diminished ovarian reserve.

 

Now, let’s understand the advantages and disadvantages of IVF

 

Advantages of IVF

 

Beneficial for patients who are not able to conceive naturally 

People who have been diagnosed with some of the other infertility issues can be hopeful if they try for IVF. Patients who are diagnosed with blocked fallopian tubes, ovulatory disorder, pelvic adhesions, decreasing quality of egg due to age, endometriosis in women and low sperm count, sexual dysfunction and absence of sperm in males may have a chance if their cause of infertility is diagnosed at the right time and a personalised treatment plan is carried out to help couples fulfil their dream of parenthood.

Right diagnosis can be made

There are times when the cause of infertility is unknown, and the couple keeps on trying without consulting or being aware of the right cause behind why they cannot conceive naturally. Visiting the IVF expert can help uncover any fertility problem so that appropriate solutions can be provided to help them conceive with the help of assisted reproductive technology. 

Been around for a while and has a safe track record

In today’s time, technology is advanced, and all best-in-class techniques are being used in order to create the treatment safer and better for every couple. The centers are equipped with state-of-the-art IVF labs and the latest assisted reproductive technology designed as per international standards for clinical excellence. We make sure all patients are given personalized treatment plans as per their infertility concerns.

Transferring only healthy sperms and eggs

In IVF, specialists make sure to test the sperms and eggs before transferring them to the uterus. Embryos are tested for any disorder that may be passed on from generations. Before IVF, pre-implantation genetic screening is done to diagnose if any genetic illnesses such as cystic fibrosis, down syndrome or Duchenne muscular dystrophy etc., to ensure that a child born will not suffer from the disorder. 

Solution for premature ovarian failure

A doctor may start with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help reduce the symptoms of Premature ovarian failure. If a patient who is planning to become pregnant can discuss several options with the doctor. There are medications given that can help stimulate the growth or release of eggs. However, it might be difficult for someone with premature ovarian failure to conceive a baby using their own eggs. For this, the only option left is, to look for an egg donor.

 

Older patients/ patients with a low ovarian reserve

Patients whose ovarian reserve is decreasing with age do have a limited set of options and it might be difficult for them to conceive naturally. Therefore, IVF might be one of the options for older patients or they can also opt for surrogacy or egg donors.

 

Can help single women

There are several advantages and disadvantages of IVF, using sperm from a donor while undergoing IVF treatment can help a single woman to become a mother to a healthy baby

Also, read about ovulation in hindi

Disadvantages

 

An IVF cycle may be unsuccessful

Patients who have been trying for quite some time are not very optimistic about their results. There might be chances that patients might have to undergo multiple cycles before they are successful. The success of each cycle varies from patient to patient, and only a fertility expert can provide a more precise and personalized chance of success. It’s critical to be both realistic and optimistic about your chances of success. 

Risk of multiple pregnancies 

In IVF, as the cost and the window of getting pregnant keeps on decreasing, the couples usually prefer to opt for implanting more than one embryo so as to increase their chances of conceiving. There are several risks when it comes to multiple pregnancies, such as premature labor, miscarriage, immediate cesarean, stillbirth, and infant health problems. To reduce the risk and chances of multiple pregnancies, pre-genetic screenings and all other tests should be done to avoid miscarriage, stillbirth, and genetic disorders. 

IVF can take an emotional toll on the health

Thinking and going for IVF can be emotionally and mentally stressful and exhausting. You start to feel that not everyone will understand what and why you need IVF. Both the partners go through emotional and stressful experiences. 

IVF can increase the risk of prematurity in the baby

In IVF, the risk of premature birth increases due to high stimulation. Premature delivery may increase the child’s risk of long-term health problems. High estrogen levels can affect the uterine environment of the uterus. With the help of the right medication, it has been observed that babies born are more likely to be born without any defects, but for this, estrogen levels should be maintained so that the baby delivered is healthy.

Chance of ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy after IVF seems to be linked to preexisting tubal disease. There are chances when the embryo is transferred into the uterus, it might result into ectopic pregnancy.

FAQs

Can IVF cause health problems?

Each patient’s body is different, and so the effect IVF has on the body may also differ. Doctors do their best with the help of the right tests to determine the baby delivered is healthy, but this right diagnosis is essential.  

Do IVF babies have problems?

No, this is a myth that IVF babies have a problem. But they are as healthy as a naturally delivered baby. All tests and diagnoses are done before the embryos are transferred so as to determine only healthy sperm and eggs are taken for fertilisation.

Why is IVF high risk?

The risk of ectopic pregnancy can take place in IVF. This happens when the embryos get implanted in a fallopian tube instead of the uterus. 

Is IVF better than natural conception?

Be it natural or IVF, what matters is the delivery of a healthy baby. As per research, IVF has been considered to give a better chance of healthy delivery as all tests and genetic screenings are done before implantation. 

Does fertility increase after IVF?

If the right diagnosis is made and treatment is completed, couples can conceive even naturally.

Written by:
Dr. Muskaan Chhabra

Dr. Muskaan Chhabra

Dr Muskaan Chhabra is a trained obstetrician-gynaecologist and reproductive medicine specialist with clinical experience of more than 11 years. She is a renowned expert and fellowship- trained IVF specialist of infertility related hysteroscopy and laparoscopy procedures. She is extensively trained in oocyte retrievals, embryo transfers and intrauterine inseminations. Dr Muskaan has also worked with several hospitals and reproductive medicine centres across India. Over 11 years of experience including Hinduja Hospital & Medical Research Centre, Mumbai; Virk Fertility Services, Jalandhar; and SPS Apollo Hospitals, Ludhiana.

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