IVF has transformed many lives. In the past few decades, it has become a relatively common procedure that allows singles and couples alike to have healthy, happy children in situations where it would otherwise be difficult to conceive.
If you are considering this procedure, you have a number of different options available to you. Sophisticated IVF technologies allow couples with a wide variety of fertility issues to successfully become pregnant and carry a child to term. Those who are interested in the IVF journey can benefit from knowing the different types of IVF that are available.
Natural Cycle IVF
In this type of IVF, a woman’s eggs are harvested during the normal course of a woman’s menstrual cycle. One or more eggs are then fertilized and reimplanted into the woman’s body (or the body of a surrogate). This type of fertilization has a number of advantages, most notably it avoids the risk of ovary overstimulation and generally does not produce spare embryos that are ultimately not used. However, this method has a lower success rate than other methods.
In stimulation IVF, hormones are used to stimulate the ovaries to produce additional eggs for a single menstrual cycle. Using this method, multiple eggs can be harvested and multiple embryos created so the most viable one can be chosen for implantation. There is always a small risk of ovary hyper stimulation with this method, a potentially serious condition that can threaten the woman’s health. This method has a much higher success rate than natural cycle IVF.
Artificial Insemination and Donor Sperm
In instances where a man has fertility issues, sperm can be harvested from them and inserted directly into the uterus so it has a better chance of fertilizing an egg. To further increase your chances, this method is often used in conjunction with ovary stimulation or fertility drugs to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Those who do not have a male partner, or cannot conceive with their male partner can use artificial insemination in conjunction with donor sperm. This is sperm that is harvested from a male of the woman’s choice or an anonymous third party.
Women who are past their prime childbearing years or other women who do not have many viable eggs can use donor embryos from a third party. These embryos are created using eggs from a donor - usually a young woman - and then implanted in the uterus of the woman wanting to give birth. The process of carrying the embryo to term is often accompanied with a fairly hefty drug regimen to prevent the body from rejecting the embryo. In spite of the risk of rejection, this method has a fairly high success rate, especially when using fresh embryos.
In a surrogacy arrangement, a surrogate woman carries the baby for the couple who wish to conceive. The embryo implanted in the surrogate can be made from one of the woman’s eggs, one of the man’s sperms, or both. Surrogacy arrangements can be emotionally trying, but they are often the best IVF solution for those who are unable to carry a child themselves for various reasons.
Disclaimer: This content is a pre-written guest post published on behalf of the team at Growing Generations.