Tuesday, 25 March 2014

IVF - Facts and Myths

Walking on the road of technology wearing a hat of naivety could sometimes be more dangerous than thought. Deriving meanings from underlined facts about In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) and abiding by the rule-chart of doctor is highly recommended. For infertile patients, who sometimes are susceptible fruits hanging loose in land of extortionists, it important to understand that not every sentence written on unreliable websites is a version coming from the mouth of a doctor. Few are fluky facts while the rest are misleading myths.

To clear a few most common myths about infertility, it is important to know that infertility NOT a woman thing, it can be a women thing, it cannot be or even it can be both man and woman thing. It depends on the organ response of individual couple to process of reproduction. While it is important for women to walk a measured distance from addiction of cigarettes, or liquor to be called as barren women, obesity, hot tubs and smoking can lessen the sperm count of men.   

In women, drinking may lead to irregular menstrual cycles and anovulatory menstruation (menstruation that occurs without ovulation). Alcohol can also increase the risk of birth defects once a woman becomes pregnant and can cause a severe collection of birth defects known as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

While age is the defining factor of fertility, infertility is not an alien thing. It will be unjust to curse yourself if you fail to conceive, as infertility is not sterility. It is just inability to conceive through the natural process. With technologies of assisted reproduction such as, IUI, IVF and ICSI, there are no limitations in conceiving.

While no fertility fruits are prescribed in general, but nutritious intake can contribute a fraction in fertility.

While the optimal conception age of a woman is between 18 and 29 years of age, the women above 30 can also conceive but the chances of infertility multiplies with age. On an average, female fertility declines slightly starting at age 27, but drops off in a clinically around age 35 and then dramatically at age 40.
While cancer has no direct relation with freezing of eggs, but the option is recommended for women under 37 years of age who are concerned about their fertility options.

While IVF is the process of forming embryos outside the body, it is the most natural way in which genetic composition of the man and the women need to form a baby. Since this process is not possible inside a woman’s body either because of tubal blockage or poor sperm count, IVF helps in bringing the egg and the sperm together outside the body.

While IVF failure brings a stroke of sorrow for couples, there are technologies like IUI through which can help getting pregnancy even after IVF.

While it is true that there are chances of multiple pregnancies with IVF, the skilled IVF results in single healthy child. There is a direct correlation with the mother’s age.

While the clown therapy works, it is totally untrue that that emotional distress (whether related to IVF, infertility, or other life events) reduces the chances of pregnancy.

While it is important to take necessary precautions, there is no need of complete bed rest required after IVF. Most patients can carry on with normal activities including job till the final stage of pregnancy.  

Dr Neeraj Pahlajani

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