In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process whereby the eggs are fertilized by the sperm outside the uterus. It is a popular technique of assisted reproductive technology (ART) used to overcome infertility. The first baby to be born with the help of IVF was in 1978.
The process of invitro fertilization usually begins on the third day of menstruation. In this case, various forms of fertility medications are used to develop multiple follicles inside the ovaries. The eggs are retrieved from the woman’s body with the help of a transvaginal technique. In this technique, a needle guided by ultrasound pierces the vaginal wall in order to reach the ovaries. The eggs hence retrieved are then taken to an in vitro fertilisation laboratory.
For fertilization to take place, the sperm and the egg are incubated together. The embryo is then placed inside the woman’s uterus. After this, the woman goes through normal stages of pregnancy.
The success rate of the IVF technique depends on a series of factors. The most important ones of these are patient characteristics and the treatment approach. However, according to doctors, the success rate for women under the age of 35 is about 30-35%. Women between the ages of 35-37 have a success rate of about 25%. The rate of success further decreases with only 15-20% successful pregnancies for women in the ages of 38-40, and women over the age of 40 seeing a success rate as little as 6-10%.
In the United States, the average cost of one cycle of IVF is around $12,500. While it may be covered in some insurance plans, the patients have to pay the entire amount on their own if it is not covered in the insurance.