Not all couples get pregnant quickly and naturally. Sometimes medicine has to help a little. In vitro fertilization, the most common type of artificial insemination greatly increases the chances of having a baby. How does the procedure work? What does it cost? And what are the risks?
You can find the answers to these questions here.
In Vitro Fertilization For A Desired Child: What You Need To Know About Artificial Insemination!
Starting a family – this is the dream of many women and men, which unfortunately often remains unfulfilled. Various reasons contribute to the fact that couples cannot get pregnant naturally.
After years of trying, some decide to go the adoption route. Others resort to the possibilities of modern medicine. In vitro fertilization – IVF for short – finally turns thousands of women into mothers every year.
However, before deciding to undergo artificial insemination, there are usually many questions and concerns: What are the chances of success for in vitro treatment? Are there any risks? Who finances the wish to have a child? Discover these and many other answers and find out whether in vitro fertilization is the right choice for you and your partner.
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If It Doesn’t Work Out With Getting Pregnant
The road to an in vitro attempt is long and often fraught with hardship. When couples decide to become parents, they firmly believe in pregnancy within the first few months.
But most pregnancies take time. Even with sexual intercourse on a woman’s fertile days, the chance of fertilization is only about 20%. A little waiting time is therefore perfectly normal. Only after a full year has passed do doctors start looking for causes of possible infertility.
You have only been trying to get pregnant for a few months? Then there is no reason for you to think about in vitro fertilization. You have been trying for longer?
Then the unfulfilled desire to have a child may have one of the following reasons, among others:
- A blocked fallopian tube.
- Immunological infertility.
- Disturbed hormone balance.
- Too few active sperm cells in the man.
With these and other diagnoses, it is possible to start talking seriously with a doctor about the possibilities of in vitro. Artificial insemination is usually the only way to the longed-for baby for affected couples.
The Procedure Of In Vitro Treatment
The baby from the laboratory – this term is often used to describe children conceived through in vitro fertilization. There are still many misconceptions and prejudices in people’s minds and little knowledge of what in vitro really means. The IVF method follows a precise procedure and involves the expectant parents firmly in the process.
Step 1: The Hormone Treatment
Female hormones play a crucial role around contraception, fertility and pregnancy. In vitro fertilization also always begins with hormone therapy.
In detail, hormone treatment aims to regulate your body to such an extent that uncontrolled ovulation does not occur. Around two weeks after you start taking these hormones, the ovaries are stimulated to produce more than one egg follicle. The doctors’ goal is to be able to retrieve as many mature eggs as possible.
The hormone treatment for in vitro fertilization takes place with pills or injections. The process is supervised by a doctor, but you can take the tablets yourself at home. You can also administer the injection yourself or ask your partner to do so.
Step 2: Inducing Ovulation
During your in vitro hormone treatment, you will visit your doctor regularly. He or she will determine, with the help of a blood analysis and ultrasound scans, how mature your eggs are.
As soon as they have reached the optimal condition for fertilization, you will stop taking hormones. The doctor will give you another hormone, which will trigger ovulation.
Step 3: The Collection Of Your Eggs
In the third step of the in vitro procedure, things get serious. Within 48 hours after ovulation is initiated, the mature eggs are removed from your body. This is done with a fine needle inserted through the vagina.
The whole procedure takes about 15 minutes and you will be given a short general or local anesthetic. After the procedure, you may have some slight bleeding and pain, for which you will be given a painkiller by the doctor.
Due to the nervousness of many women before the treatment, you will usually also be given a sedative beforehand.
Step 4: Fertilization Of The Egg Cell
After the egg has been retrieved, the in vitro procedure proceeds to the step from which the name test tube baby comes: artificial fertilization in the laboratory, outside the woman’s body. Of course, the sperm cells of your partner are also needed for fertilization.
Often the stress is too high to donate sperm on the day itself. Therefore, this can be done in the days and weeks before. The sperm are then kept frozen in the laboratory.
As soon as the egg and sperm are available, they are brought together in a nutrient fluid and then stored in the so-called incubator. Ideally, fertilization takes place there, i.e. in vitro fertilization.
Step 5: Transfer Of The Fertilized Egg Cell
Now you have to wait around two to five days. During this time you will be informed whether one or more eggs have been successfully fertilized. Up to a maximum of three eggs fertilized by in vitro will then be transferred to the uterus. The process is done by inserting a thin catheter. The procedure is somewhat uncomfortable, but usually not painful.
Due to the insertion of up to three eggs, multiple pregnancies are more common with fertilization by in vitro fertilization. Even more often, however, some of the eggs are rejected by the body and only one baby develops. Unfortunately, it can also happen that all the eggs used are rejected. In this case, the procedure must be repeated.
The first check-up usually takes place after 14 days. After about 4 weeks you will know for sure if you are pregnant. Conventional pregnancy tests from the drugstore can show false results due to the previous hormone treatment.
It is better to wait for the blood tests at the doctor’s office. False results lead to false hopes, despair and generally make life difficult for you. The chances of success for each IVF cycle are between 25 and 40%.
IVF Or ICSI: What Is The Difference?
Artificial insemination by ICSI – intracytoplasmic sperm injection – has almost the same procedure as regular in vitro fertilization. The only difference is the direct injection of the sperm into the egg, while both elements are in the nutrient fluid. ICSI is used whenever sperm motility and number are severely limited. This guarantees that the sperm cell and the egg will definitely find each other.
Artificial Insemination And Its Downsides
In vitro fertilization is a wonderful way to make your unfulfilled wish for a child come true after all. At the same time, you must not forget that the treatment demands a lot from you and your partner, both physically and emotionally.
Medical complications and risks that can occur with the in vitro method include:
- Nausea, shortness of breath, and blood clotting from hormonal overstimulation.
- Infection of the ovaries.
- The usual risks of anesthesia.
Even more often, however, in vitro fertilization stresses the soul. The first failed attempt requires a lot of strength to go on and continue the treatment. Here, above all, open communication with your partner is important.
Be honest if you need a break, for example, and also pay attention to the other person’s feelings. In addition, not every conversation should revolve around artificial insemination. You and your partner as a romantic couple and best friends should not fall by the wayside. Otherwise, the in vitro pregnancy may work, but the relationship will have suffered at the same time.
Does The Health Insurance Pay For In Vitro Fertilization And Artificial Insemination?
In vitro fertilization is also an enormous financial burden for most couples. Health insurance companies in Germany cover part of the costs under certain conditions, including 3 cycles of IVF treatment. In order for this to happen, the couple wishing to have children must meet the following requirements:
- The couple is married.
- The woman is between 25 and 40 years old, and the man is no more than 50 years old.
- A doctor confirms the medical necessity.
- A doctor confirms the chances of success.
If you are outside these guidelines or need more than three attempts, you will have to pay the costs yourself. This can quickly demand a small fortune from you and your partner, as each cycle costs around 3000 euros. Again, open and honest communication is important.
Is In Vitro Fertilization The Right Way For You?
The further procedure in case of an unfulfilled desire to have children is a very personal decision that only you and your partner can make together. Don’t be afraid to ask the doctor as many questions as necessary and discuss all the options with your partner.
The costs, your emotional state, and the relatively high chance of having twins are just some of the discussion points that should be discussed before starting the in vitro treatment. If you have decided to take this step, you can look to the future with hope!