Are you a good candidate for IVF treatment?
Assisted reproduction or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) became a buzz word around forty years ago. Over the years, advanced research and technology has led to better methods with amazing outcomes for couples. After four decades, about 8 million babies have been born into this world through IVF treatment giving hope to countless couples who would have otherwise remained childless.
Who is a good candidate for IVF treatment? What kind of fertility issues have a higher rate of success? There are certain cases where IVF treatment is seen to be highly effective. Choosing the appropriate treatment is a key factor for successful fertility outcome. Success rates do vary according to every individual but in general the following conditions serve as good indicators for proceeding with IVF.
Prior failed fertility treatments:Women who have tried less invasive and less elaborate fertility procedures and have repeatedly failed to become pregnant. These continuous treatments can be emotionally draining and IVF can be a beacon of hope for such men and women.
Age is usually the best indicator of egg quality. According to a study published in the Singapore Medical Journal, “Patients aged less than 30 years had the best IVF outcomes, reflecting optimal reproductive capacity.” If there are indications to do IVF then the younger the age of the woman the better is the IVF outcome. Women aged 35 and above have a lower pregnancy rate after IVF treatment.
Blocked fallopian tubes: Blocked tubes prevent the egg traveling from the ovaries to uterus. Since IVF bypasses the fallopian tubes, IVF is an effective option in treating women with tubal factor infertility. About 20% of female infertility can be traced to tubal causes.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): This condition is usually caused by hormonal imbalances which prevents ovulation from happening. PCOS accounts for about 85% of all ovulatory disorders. There are PCOS cases that may resolve by the candidate losing weight or being treated with medication. However, many PCOS women may need to resort to IVF for conception and usually have a very good success rate.
Endometriosis: In this condition the uterine lining called the endometrium which is usually inside the uterus is displaced and is seen throughout the pelvic cavity. The endometrium responds to menstrual cycle hormones swelling and thickening, and then shedding blood to mark the beginning of a new menstrual cycle. IVF treatment is the best option in moderate and severe endometriosis and also works very well in milder cases of endometriosis.
Low sperm count or low sperm motility: These conditions in males are often good candidates for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) – a procedure that involves injecting the egg with selected, good quality sperm. In cases where there is no ejaculated sperm, microsurgical sperm extraction can be done by taking sperms directly from the testes or epididymis.
Poor Ovarian Reserve: IVF treatment is the best option for women with low ovarian reserve, which means less number of oocytes remaining in the ovary.
General health of the woman: A good candidate for IVF treatment is one who is in good overall general health. Candidates with no pre-existing conditions, are at a healthy weight, and lead active lifestyles make some of the best candidates.
Freezing eggs at a younger age: Women who have chosen to have a baby at a later stage in life and have frozen their eggs at a younger age have a higher success rate with IVF treatment. When a woman is ready to use her eggs they remain at the age they were frozen. The eggs will be thawed in the embryology lab and thawed, then IVF procedure will be conducted.
Third party reproduction- Couples going through IVF using donor oocytes or surrogacy when indicated, tend to have better IVF success rates.
Is there anyone who is not a good candidate for IVF treatment?