In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common type of assisted reproductive technology (ART), used to create an embryo by bypassing certain causes of infertility, such as mild sperm abnormalities in men, and fallopian tube or ovulation irregularity in women. During IVF, a woman’s eggs are surgically retrieved and then fertilized in a laboratory by mixing with a partner (or donor’s) sperm. The fertilized egg, or embryo, is left to grow for two to five days, and is then surgically transferred back into the woman’s womb.
Because the IVF process bypasses the fallopian tubes (it was originally developed for women with blocked or missing fallopian tubes), it is the procedure of choice for those with fallopian tube issues, as well as for such conditions as endometriosis, male factor infertility and unexplained infertility. A physician can review a patient’s history and help to guide them to the treatment and diagnostic procedures that are most appropriate for them.
The in vitro fertilization process can last anywhere from four to six weeks prior to egg retrieval. The embryo(s) will then be implanted between two to five days afterwards. Not all patients are successful on their first IVF attempt; in fact, it’s not uncommon for patients to go through multiple IVF cycles before finally becoming pregnant.
There are a number of factors involved in determining if a patient is suitable for IVF treatment. Appropriate candidates often include couples who may experience:
- Low sperm counts
- Problems with the uterus or fallopian tubes
- Ovulation disorders
- Sperm unable to penetrate or survive in the cervical mucus
- Other health or unexplained reproductive issues
A woman’s ovaries house hundreds of potential eggs. Each month, during the natural ovulation cycle, the ovary selects just one egg from a pool of 100-1,000. Those eggs which are not selected undergo a natural cell death process called atresia. When a woman uses fertility medication, the body’s natural selection process is overridden, and a number of these otherwise unused eggs are allowed to grow. As many as 20 eggs may be stimulated in a given cycle. Thus when using fertility medication in the IVF process, not only is the woman not using up all of her eggs, but she is ‘rescuing’ eggs that otherwise would have undergone atresia.
1. List of symptoms you’ve been having and its characteristics such as how long has it been, what does it entail, etc.
2. Any recent (<1 year) medical tests such as blood tests, urine tests, etc.
3. If you have any existing medical conditions, bring along your prescription and related medical information
4. Information about your family history
Unless you have been identified with any complications, it is perfectly safe to travel during pregnancy. Most women find the second trimester the most ideal time to travel as you are done with the morning sickness of the first trimester and won’t get as easily tired as one does in their third trimester. Indian airline carriers allow women to travel up to 32 weeks of their pregnancy.
Some of the most common early symptoms of pregnancy are missed periods, fatigue, vomiting, feeling dizzy, tenderness of breasts, urination increased, and some other symptoms. However, it should be observed that the early symptoms of pregnancy may differ from women to women. Some may go through several symptoms whereas, some may not feel all of them. The timing of the symptoms is also different in the cases of different women. Some may get them early and some may get them even after several weeks of conception.
In a normal pregnancy, you can be expected to come in for a check up on the following days:
• 4 weeks to 28 weeks: 1 visit/month
• 28 weeks to 36 weeks: 1 visit/2 weeks
• 36 weeks to 40 weeks: 1 visit/week
If it is a high-risk pregnancy such as twins, advanced age of women or a complicated pregnancy, your doctor may want to see you more often depending on your condition.
A pregnant woman needs more folic acid, calcium, iron & protein than a non-pregnant woman. Hence pre-natal vitamins, which contain an ideal amount is prescribed to every expecting woman. Leafy vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, fruits and lean meats should make up 80 % of the diet. There can be cravings for salty and sugary food in pregnancy but one should try to eat as healthily as possible to avoid gaining excess weight.
Visiting a gynecologist is recommended to women and/or girls for annual screening and any time a woman has concerns about symptoms such as pelvic, vulvar, and vaginal pain or abnormal bleeding from the uterus. Conditions commonly treated by gynecologists include issues relating to pregnancy, fertility, menstruation, and menopause.
OB-GYNs evaluate and treat a wide variety of conditions. What you see them for may depend on your age, health, and reproductive goals.
- abnormal bleeding
- pelvic pain
- genital itching
- urinary incontinence
- urinary tract or vaginal infections
- breast disorders
- hormonal disorders