Fertility treatment: The IVF treatment

If you are unable to get pregnant in a natural way, you may be eligible for one IVF treatment. IVF is a known fertility treatment. On average, the chance of a continuous pregnancy after an IVF treatment is approximately 20% per treatment. This percentage depends on the age of the woman and the quality of the embryos. After three IVF treatments, the chance of a born child is 40 to 50%. Read here how an IVF treatment is exactly.

What is an IVF treatment?

IVF stands for In Vitro Fertilization. Literally translated: in glass fertilization. IVF is used in couples with reduced fertility. In the Netherlands, IVF is also called test tube fertilization or test tube babies. During an IVF treatment the woman receives hormonal stimulation. As a result of this stimulation, several egg cells ripen instead of 1 (which is the case with a normal menstrual cycle).

When the oocytes are ripened, they are collected and brought together with sperm cells in a Petri dish. This dish enters a incubator (warm cupboard). If the eggs are fertilized, an embryo is created. Because several egg cells and multiple sperm are in a dish, there is a chance that multiple embryos will develop. The embryo (sometimes two) is placed back in the womb and hopefully it will implant and a pregnancy will occur.

When are you eligible for an IVF treatment?

An IVF treatment is only done when pregnancy fails in a natural way, for example by:

  • Closed fallopian tubes or removed fallopian tubes
  • Severe endometriosis
  • Reduced sperm quality
  • Disorders in the hormone level
  • Ovaries that do not work properly (for example with PCOS)

In addition to the above physical defects, it can sometimes be that the pregnancy is not forthcoming without obvious causes. When a long time passes, the doctor will assess whether you are eligible for IVF. The time depends on your age and a number of other factors. You also qualify for IVF if other treatments for reduced fertility did not work or after a fertility-enhancing operation.

When are you not eligible for IVF?

Sometimes it can happen that, despite the fact that it does not work out in the natural way, you are not eligible for IVF. That is when:

  • There are serious conditions and diseases such as diabetes, severe obesity, coagulation disorders, heart defects or malignant diseases. The treatment of the disease and the pregnancy can pose a great risk to mother and child.
  • There are mental illnesses, psychosocial conditions and addiction.
  • There is an infection disease such as HIV virus.
  • The age is above 41 years.

IVF, how are you?

Below we will briefly formulate the steps you will go through during an IVF treatment:

  1. Quieting cycle:

    In the month before the IVF treatment is actually started, your cycle will first be stopped. You do this by giving daily injections with a certain hormone. The hormone ensures that your own hormone production is suppressed. This makes it less likely that interference will occur during the ripening of the eggs.

  2. Monitoring by ultrasound:

    Before you start treatment you will first see how the state of your fallopian tubes are. For example, if you do not have a cyst (an accumulation of fluid). With an ultrasound scan you will be given a stick in your vagina. This stick contains an echo head that captures the inside. This does not hurt.

  3. Stimulation:

    You serve it daily FSH hormone toe. This hormone stimulates the growth and development of follicles (egg vesicles in which an egg can be located). The FSH hormone is given by injection, usually in the abdomen. During this process, the development of the follicles is followed by an ultrasound scan.

  4. hCG hormone:

    When the follicles have grown and developed sufficiently (at 20 mm) you must administer the hCG hormone. The hCG hormone is also given by injection. The hormone stimulates the eirijping and ensures that egg cells are released earlier in the follicles. A puncture should take place within 36 hours, because otherwise the follicles have already jumped and are on their way to the fallopian tube.

  5. The puncture:

    With the same device that was used in the ultrasound, a puncture is now done. The only difference is that the device now has a needle guide. With this hollow needle, mature follicles are punctured and then emptied. During the puncture you get a painkiller and sometimes the vagina wall is numbed. Puncturing the follicles can be painful.

  6. Sow seed:

    Before or after the puncture the man is asked to hand in seed. In the laboratory, the best sperm cells are selected by means of a treatment.

  7. In a glass:

    First the quality of the man's seed is examined. There must be about 100,000 good sperm cells to fertilize the egg. Subsequently, it is examined how many oocytes the puncture has yielded. After you have been informed of this, the oocytes and sperm are brought together in a Petri dish.

  8. Embryo transfer:

    After about a day, it can be determined whether there has been fertilization. When fertilization has taken place, a maximum of 2 embryos (fertilized eggs) are placed in the uterus approximately 2 to 5 days after the puncture. This is often painless.

  9. hCG injection:

    After the transfer you need to inject the hCG hormone every few days. You may also need to administer hCG in the form of tablets.The hormone must ensure that the uterine lining becomes thick so that the egg can start to implant.

  10. Wait two weeks:

    Now it is hoping and waiting. If your menstruation has not started after two weeks, you can do a pregnancy test. Keep in mind, however, that your menstruation may also fail due to the hormones you have given. If your test is positive, you will receive an ultrasound scan after a number of weeks.

IVF treatment painful?

An IVF treatment is in principle not very painful, but it is also not painless. The injections can be somewhat sensitive and you can also get some sensitive spots through the injections. In addition, the puncture can be somewhat painful. It often happens that women continue to suffer from a nagging pain for several days after the puncture. The embryo transfer is completely painless.

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