In-Vitro Fertilization is a reproductive technique that involves combining sperm cells with a fully, mature egg in a laboratory. The woman may be given fertility medications to allow for the eggs to mature properly and for the uterine wall to develop optimally. The type of medications and the dosage is tailored to every individual couple to ensure the best possible outcome. Once the eggs are mature, an egg retrieval procedure is performed to gently remove the eggs from the ovaries. This procedure is done under monitored anesthesia care in an outpatient setting to ensure maximal safety and patient comfort. Once the eggs are removed, they are allowed to fertilize with the male partner’s sperm or the sperm of a preselected donor. Once an embryo is established after fertilization, it is implanted into the woman's uterus where it will become attached to the uterine wall and continue to grow. Approximately two weeks after the embryo is transferred, a pregnancy test is performed to confirm implantation and pregnancy. The chances of success with IVF depend on various factors including age. Advancements in technology have increased the success rates for many fertility procedures, especially In-Vitro Fertilization in the past few decades.
In-Vitro Fertilization was first developed to overcome infertility due to fallopian tube blockage. However, the indications for IVF have increased to include women who suffer from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, endometriosis, and other fertility disorders. Doctors may choose to perform IVF if the male's sperm count is extremely low. Conditions that have to do with the sperm's inability to get to or join with the egg are commonly overcome with the use of IVF and ICSI.
In women who are aged 34 years and younger, the success rate for In-Vitro Fertilization is approximately 30 to 40%. After the age of 35, the success rate for many fertility procedures will steadily decrease. The age of the woman at the time of the procedure, the primary reason for infertility, and how well the body responds to the treatment will all play a role in the procedure's effectiveness. The woman's overall health will also play a role. If a woman has had successful live births in the past, they are more likely to succeed if they attempt an In-Vitro procedure.