Unfortunately, married couples who, for one reason or another, cannot independently have children, are not uncommon today. Infertility is a terrible diagnosis, which is characterized by impaired reproductive function and the inability of a couple to conceive a child for a year or more without intimate protection.
In vitro fertilization is one of the most advanced and most effective ways of treating infertility in such cases. To fully understand the essence of the method, it is enough to decipher the individual components of this term: extra (from the Latin. Extra – outside), corporal (from the Latin Corpus – body). Thus, the fusion of sperm and egg occurs outside the woman’s body, in laboratory conditions (“in vitro”).
What is IVF?
The mother’s ovules and the father’s spermatozoa are placed in a special environment, where they connect independently or artificially, after which the fertilized egg is implanted in the woman’s uterus, where the development of pregnancy occurs. IVF is a complex process that is carried out only under the supervision of highly qualified doctors and physicians and can take up to six months in total.
How much will IVF cost?
Typically, on a nationwide average, a “fresh” IVF cycle costs $12,000, before medications, which usually run another $3,000 to $5,000. In a “fresh” IVF cycle, eggs are collected internally after a carefully monitored duration of ovulation-inducing medications and after that “combined” with fresh sperm. A couple of the best-looking of the resulting embryos are then moved to the uterus by means of a thin catheter.
The PGD part of the procedure will mean another $3,000 to $6,000. Altogether, conservatively speaking, about $20,000 for each try to have a healthy kid making use of a treatment that reaches success (most optimistically) about 40% of the time, depending on elements such as maternal age and the particular medical scenarios of the parents.
For some people going through IVF, if a fresh cycle does not lead to a pregnancy, and the remaining embryos from this fresh cycle can consequently be utilized during a “frozen” cycle. “Frozen” cycles, typically abbreviated as FET or Frozen Embryo Transfer, are far more affordable, as they utilize “frozen” (technically, vitrified) embryos saved for future usage. FET averages anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 per cycle and yearly storage costs for frozen embryos are generally an extra couple of hundred for each year.
Lots of practices provide “refund” and “discounted multi-cycle” programs. Practices with these sorts of programs will have a lot of plans that provide clients with several IVF cycles for a single, affordable charge that costs about 30% to 40% less than the same specific treatment plan if you were to spend for it on a cycle-by-cycle basis.
When do people resort to this method?
The use of IVF is justified if the female and male reproductive cells cannot meet in their natural environment (a very common cause of infertility). This happens in case of unavoidable obstruction of the fallopian tubes or their absence, immunological infertility, which is not amenable to treatment, infertility of unknown etiology.
Let’s take a closer look at the indications for this type of infertility treatment.
Lack of own oocytes due to:
- A late-age woman when ovarian function is already extinct;
- Premature depletion of ovarian reserve (PIA);
- A significant decrease in the sensitivity of the ovaries to the induction of ovulation;
- The presence of contraindications to lead stimulation;
- Shereshevsky-Turner syndrome;
- gonadal dysgenesis;
Treatment with chemo or radiation therapy
Poor quality of the patient’s genital gametes due to a number of genetic diseases linked to the floor.
Several attempts of IVF, during which the response to stimulation (including when using high doses of drugs) was weak, the quality of the embryos obtained was low, and pregnancy did not occur after their transfer.
Requirements for the donor
This program can be carried out with the involvement of an anonymous (professional, pre-selected, and examined in a medical institution) or a non-anonymous (relative or familiar) donor.
According to the requirements of the Ministry of Health Federation, only adult women under the age of 34 years can act as an oocyte donor:
- Who have given birth to at least one healthy child of their own;
- Without any physical or mental abnormalities;
- Non-carriers of hereditary diseases;
- Not suffering from chronic diseases;
- No noticeable external features;
Having a normal body weight
If an anonymous donor is planned to participate in the program, the patient can pre-select the appropriate candidate, focusing on parameters such as blood type, weight, height, face shape, eye color and shape, body features, education and type of activity.
How can IVF be performed with donor eggs?
IVF can be carried out with both fresh and previously cryopreserved cells.
In the first case, prior synchronization of the donor and recipient menstrual cycles will be required. When using reproductive gametes stored in a cryobank, there is no need for this step. Consequently:
- There is no risk of a possible failure of the procedure;
- Cost decreases;
- The time of the program is reduced.
Fresh or thawed oocytes are fertilized in the laboratory, the embryos are grown for several days in special incubators and then transferred into the patient’s uterus.
If it is decided to use fresh donor oocytes, some preparation is required, which involves the following steps:
- Reception by the patient and the donor of hormonal drugs that inhibit ovarian function;
- Induction of superovulation in the donor with the further introduction of the ovulation trigger;
- Puncture of the ovarian donor in order to obtain follicular fluid containing oocytes;
- Preparation of the endometrium of the patient for transfer, which is carried out with the help of hormonal preparations even before embryo cultivation begins.
If vitrified eggs are used for IVF, then the steps associated with donor preparation are not carried out.
Preparing for IVF, conducting the procedure, and monitoring after IVF Preparing for IVF takes about 2–3 weeks and includes tests for both spouses. Women undergo a gynecological examination, ultrasound of the pelvic organs, donate blood for HIV, hepatitis, syphilis, hormone levels, smears for infections. Men are also given blood tests and smears for infections, as well as male reproductory apparatus tests. After receiving the test results, the doctor will have all the necessary information, and therefore, reliably establish the cause of infertility and select the appropriate IVF method. IVF usually starts with hormonal stimulation – a woman takes hormones, due to which she matures several eggs in one cycle. Normally the duration is of 2 weeks. At the time of ovulation, the eggs are extracted from the ovaries by puncture. The process is controlled by ultrasound. Then the eggs are fertilized with the partner’s or donor’s help. Everything for fertilization undergoes certain activities – the male’s cells are separated from the seminal fluid.