World IVF Day: Things first-time parents should know

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“In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a long and tiring process that includes a series of doctor visits. As part of the same, the first step for an IVF  patient is to get the hormones injected which help in producing multiple eggs instead of just one. Before the retrieval process, however, the patient is administered a series of injections that help ripen the egg and kickstart the ovulation process begins,” said Dr Nishi Singh, HOD of the Department of Infertility & IVF at Prime IVF Center.

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According to Dr Singh, it is essential to know that if the eggs get taken out too early or later, “they will not be able to develop the normal way”. “At this point, it is common for the doctor to do a series of blood tests or an ultrasound to find out if the eggs are at the right stage of development or not before they are retrieved. Your doctor will use an ultrasound to find the follicles in the ovary. The eggs will then get extracted using a hollow needle. You can anticipate that the eggs will be combined with your partner’s sperm after the successful retrieval. Once done, they will implant one or more embryos into your uterus. A pregnancy test will be run two weeks later,” she elaborated.

Since it is a long process, one needs to be mentally prepared. This World IVF Day, observed annually on July 25, here are a few things that first-time IVF parents might want to know before they decide to undertake this journey.

Covid-19, Covid-19 and mental health, how Covid-19 affects mental health, mental health and fertility problems, anxiety, parenting, indian express news Though many people with fertility problems can have a child after treatment, anxiety about whether the treatment will work can also undermine a person’s mental health. (Source: Pixabay)

*Get your health parameters checked before you start your IVF treatment. Working on yourself is an essential factor. It greatly helps in improving IVF success rate.

*Keep in mind that an IVF procedure involves getting hormones injected. Hence, you might experience mood changes, cramping, discomfort and more. “However, if you face too much discomfort, it is important that you consult a doctor and not ignore it,” Dr Singh asserted.

*One may even experience mental distress, depression, and anxiety at such times. “Talk to a therapist or counsellor,” Dr Singh said.

*Anyone undergoing IVF wants to have a wide variety of viable embryos to choose. More healthy embryos increase the odds of successfully implementing those embryos, increasing the chance of getting pregnant and giving birth. However, there are situations when patients end up with more healthy embryos than they require. The key in this situation is communication. If you end up creating extra embryos, discuss your options with your doctor, such as donating them to other people who would benefit from using them to expand their families.

*You can opt for surrogacy. There are broadly two types of surrogacies – traditional and gestational. Traditional surrogacy is when the father’s sperm is infused with the eggs of a surrogate. It happens when the female cannot produce eggs. On the other hand, gestational surrogacy, a more popular method is opted in the Indian IVF cultures. In this process, the eggs and sperm of the parents are infused and transferred into the surrogate’s uterus. Therefore, you can understand what you need and opt for surrogacy to be able to experience parenthood via IVF.

*Success rates for IVF depend on a host of factors. “The chances for a woman to get pregnant largely depend on her eggs and a host of other factors. The success rate also depends on the clinic you choose to get your IVF done. Hence, discuss your doubts and the chance of pregnancy success with the specialist present at the clinic,” said Dr Singh.

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