The whole truth about IVF

Infertile couples (couples who cannot get pregnant for a year) are a problem in modern society. This is primarily due to an increase in the number of cases of male infertility. If such a problem arises, you need to try to fix the problem in a man or a woman, and if it does not work out, then the last chance remains – in vitro fertilization or IVF. What is it? Let’s figure it out.

IVF technology turns 57 this year. In 1958, British scientist Robert Edwards began work with Patrick Steptoe to try to fertilize human eggs outside the body. On July 25, 1978, the first test tube girl, Louise Brown, was born in the UK. By the way, to this day everything is in order with her, Louise herself became a mother, having given birth to a healthy child.

Alas, only one of the creators of the extracorporeal method and lived for a very long time – and in 2010, in the ninth decade of his life, Robert Edwards managed to wait for the highest award in science, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Steptoe had already died by that time.

How does IVF work?
First, a preliminary stage is needed – this is an examination of both men and women in order to understand all the subtleties of their problem and anticipate all the difficulties of the upcoming manipulations.

Then hormonal stimulation of the woman’s ovaries is performed, as a result of which superovulation occurs – the formation of a large number of eggs at once (usually one). This is done by different methods, which one to choose is decided by the doctor in each case. After that, the very procedure of in vitro fertilization begins.

First, on the same day, sperm is collected from a man, eggs are taken from a woman, and in vitro fertilization itself. How does it happen? If the man’s sperm is active, then sperm and eggs are simply mixed on the culture plate. If the problem lies in the low activity of spermatozoa, then they resort to the ICSI method – intracytoplasmic sperm injection, when specialists inject the selected spermatozoa into the egg manually under a microscope.

As soon as the sperm has entered the egg, it ceases to be an egg and begins to be called an embryo.

A new stage of IVF begins – embryological. During this stage, artificial cultivation of embryos is carried out.

And the last stage is the return of the embryos to the uterus. It is completely safe and painless. Order 67 of the Ministry of Health of Russia recommends transferring no more than three embryos into the uterus during one IVF procedure in order to avoid multiple pregnancies.

Two more weeks pass – and you can draw conclusions about the success of IVF. Usually, about 30-40 percent of fertilization is successful the first time.