In Vitro Fertilisation: The Advantages and Disadvantages
Not all couples can conceive naturally but thanks to science, there are numerous ways they can become parents. Such couples are usually faced with many choices to pick from, and it all comes down to factors such as their financial position as well as personal reasons. IVF is a common option that involves fertilization of the egg in a test-tube. The embryo (fertilised egg) is then inserted into the woman’s body where it develops like any other baby. The procedure has some advantages and disadvantages, and any interested couple should have a look at them to decide whether it is right for them or not.
In many cases, couples are unable to conceive because of blocked oviducts. Fertilisation requires the egg to travel to the tubes where it is fertilised by the sperm then implanted in the uterus. Such blockages are caused by infections around the pelvic area such as appendicitis. IVF, on the other hand, does not require the tubes to be open. A fertilised egg is transferred to the womb where it grows into a baby without needing the oviduct to be open.
Sometimes the lack of conception is caused by male infertility whereby there is a problem with his sperms, such as a low sperm count and the shape. IVF solves this quickly as the egg and sperm are placed in the same place, eliminating the need for the sperm to travel a long distance to fertilise the egg.
IVF also comes with additional procedures that can help prevent the formation of an embryo with abnormalities. It is tested before being inserted into the womb in a process called Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis to determine whether it may be carrying any such defects.
One of the biggest cons of the IVF procedure is that the doctor cannot guarantee a pregnancy. This leaves the couple open to both good and shocking news which is rather unsettling, especially for couples that have really been trying to conceive for long. It also comes with a significant number of risks including:
- Miscarriage – IVF is a delicate process, and if even a slight mistake is made, the baby could be miscarried. It can also happen without any error in the procedure.
- Implantation failure – This happens when the embryo is transferred to the uterus but fails to implant as expected.
- Ectopic pregnancy – This is when the embryo implants itself outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes. There are higher chances of it happening in IVF pregnancies and can be quite fatal especially when the oviducts are damaged.
- Cycle cancellation – This happens when the body does not respond to the IVF medication as expected.
- Fertilisation failure – This is when the eggs collected fail to be fertilised due to reasons such as low egg or sperm quality.
Conclusively, you and your partner should not be afraid to seek help when you can’t conceive naturally. A baby is a gift that you should not pass for fear of failure.