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World Embryologists’ Day: Myths and facts about IVF

Prime News, International, National, Health, New Delhi, July 25:- The birth of a child is a happy occasion for any family and a new chapter in the life of a couple. However, today, there is an increase in the number of couples who are unable to conceive due to many reasons.

This inability to conceive may be due to many reasons and is termed as infertility. Infertility has many underlying reasons. In men, it may be due to low or absent sperm count or certain diseases.

“Ovulation problems, blocked Fallopian tubes, uterine problems, and uterine fibroids are some of the factors responsible for infertility in women. Some other common reasons are age, stress, and poor diet and lifestyle,” says Dr Hrishikesh D Pai, Medical Director, Bloom IVF Group and Secretary General of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India.

In Vitro Fertilisation

While infertility is a major issue among couples, there are many assistive reproductive technologies today which can help couples combat this problem. IVF or In Vitro Fertilisation is one such popular method. In this procedure, eggs are taken out of a female body and fertilised with the sperm. The resultant embryo is then transferred to the uterus and the cycle of pregnancy starts. Although IVF has been successful, there are still many myths related to this procedure. Here is a lowdown on some of them.

Myth 1: IVF can resolve all infertility issues

There are many assisted reproductive procedures available today and IVF is just one of them. Some other procedures include Ovulation Induction (OI) with medications, Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI), etc., which can help childless couples conceive.

Myth 2: It is only for the rich

IVF is a little expensive but cheaper than many other surgeries. Its cost has, however, not risen in the last many years.

Myth 3: It is only for younger couples

Although age is a factor that determines fertility, this procedure can be as effective in ladies in the post-menopausal group as in younger ones. In the older age group, donor eggs from younger females are used. However, it should be kept in mind that the pregnancy rates in older women are lower as compared to younger women.

Myth 4: IVF has a 100 per cent success rate

The success rate of IVF is about 40 per cent in couples below the age of 35. Also, the success rate of IVF depends on factors such as age, cause of infertility, and biological and hormonal conditions.

Myth 5: IVF babies are born with birth defects and malformations

The absolute risk of delivering an IVF baby with malformations is low. The risk of anomalous fetus in spontaneous or IVF babies is the same as in general population.

Myth 6: IVF is not safe

It is a safe procedure with only about 2 per cent of patients standing the risk of becoming unwell from ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome.

Myth 7: IVF leads to multiple pregnancies

Although there are cases of multiple pregnancies with this procedure, reducing the number of embryos transferred, particularly in younger women, can minimise this risk.

Myth 8: IVF requires a person to be admitted in the hospital

The hospital admission is only for few hours during the egg-collection procedure.The person is not required to be admitted for many days.

Myth 9: Donating eggs will deplete them

During menarche, a girl has over 400,000 eggs. Of these, only 400 are required in an entire lifetime. Every month about 20 of these are mobilised and only one or two grow to the point of being released during ovulation. About 18 to 19 of the remaining eggs die. IVF helps in sustaining the growth of these remaining eggs. Therefore, there is no chance of eggs getting finished through donation for IVF.

Myth 10: IVF pregnancies result in cesarean births

IVF pregnancies are just like naturally conceived ones and not an indication for cesarean section. Couples who have tried to conceive for many years or those with higher chances of a multiple pregnancy can opt for elective cesarean delivery. A very normal vaginal delivery is possible following IVF.

In conclusion

Though it may not be the first line of treatment for infertility, IVF is definitely a boon for couples battling age and other factors that prevent them from having a baby at the right time. The need of the hour is to dispel the myths surrounding this procedure so that the couples who are either contemplating or going through the IVF process find some reassurance

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