IVF is the preferred treatment method for infertility and genetic problems. If IVF is used to circumvent infertility, you and your partner might be able to try less-invasive treatment options before embarking on the treatment, which includes fertility-boosting drugs to enhance the production of eggs or intrauterine insemination (a procedure through which sperms is placed directly into your uterus near the time of ovulation).
For women over the age of 40, IVF sometimes is offered as primary treatment for infertility. IVF is also an ideal procedure if you are suffering from some health disorders. IVF may be an option of you or your partner under the following circumstances:
Fallopian tube damage or blockage: It is difficult for an egg to be fertilized or for an embryo to travel to uterus if there is damage or blockage in the fallopian tube.
Ovulation disorders:Fewer eggs are available for fertilization if ovulation is infrequent or absent.
Endometriosis:Endometriosis is a condition in which uterine tissue implants and grows outside of the uterus, thereby affecting the function of the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes.
Uterine fibroids: Fibroids refer to benign tumors in the wall of the uterus. Uterine fibroids are a common finding in women in their 30s and 40s. Fibroids can come in the way of implantation of the fertilized egg.
Previous tubal sterilization or removal:If you have had sterilization in which your fallopian tubes are cut or blocked to permanently prevent pregnancy (tubal ligation), IVF may be an alternative to reversal of tubal ligation.
Impairment in sperm production or function: If the sperm concentration is below average or weak which may lead to poor sperm motility or abnormality in sperm size and shape, thereby making itdifficult for a sperm to fertilize an egg. If semen abnormalities are found your partner may need to see a specialist to find out if it is a correctable problem or a sign of any underlying health concerns.
Unexplained infertility:Unexplained infertility refers to no identifiable cause of infertility has been found despite evaluation for common causes.
Genetic disorder: If there is a genetic disorder in your family, you and your partner is at risk of passing on that disorder to your child. If so, you may need pre-implantation genetic testing – a procedure that involves IVF.
Fertility preservation for cancer or other chronic health conditions: God forbid, if you are going to start cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy that could impair your fertility status, IVF for fertility preservation may be an option. Women can have eggs harvested from their ovaries in order to be frozen in an unfertilized state for later use. Apart from that the eggs can be fertilized and frozen as embryos for future use.
If a woman’s uterus is not functioning properly or pregnancy involves a serious health risk, IVF can be chosen to carry the pregnancy using another person (gestational carrier). In this case, eggs are fertilized with the sperm, but the resulting embryos are placed in the gestational carrier’s uterus.