Genetic “selection” of the child, the risks of developing cancer and not only: myths and facts about IVF
The IVF procedure has long ceased to be perceived as something fantastic, but there are still a lot of myths around it. And as soon as one disappears, others appear. After all, medicine does not stand still, there are new ways and new research data. The most popular myths and a lot of new information that will surprise you – in the material of Evgenia Balashova.Myth 1. IVF – only for those who are over 35 years old.
When should we talk about the need for an IVF procedure up to 35 years?
The frequency of pregnancy depends on the age of the woman and is 2 times higher in women at 25 years old than at 35, per one menstrual cycle, and decreases steadily with increasing age. For example, the chances of getting pregnant after 42 years are about 10%. These indicators also apply to conception using any assisted reproductive technology (ART): IVF, sperm injection into the oocyte cytoplasm (ICSI), cryopreservation of germ cells, artificial insemination with sperm of a husband or donor, etc. In general, the younger the woman, the better the quality of her eggs.
There are absolute indications for IVF – this is, firstly, the absence of fallopian tubes or their complete obstruction. On the male side, the presence of single sperm in the ejaculate when the IVF-ICSI procedure is indicated. Accordingly, the younger a woman who has absolute indications for IVF, the higher the likelihood of becoming pregnant as a result of this procedure on the first attempt.
Another thing is that for some circumstances a young woman postpones the birth of a child. In this case, it would be reasonable to take care of IVF followed by cryopreservation of the excellent quality of embryos, for their transfer into the uterus in the future, when life circumstances will favor the birth of a child.
Myth 2. IVF is the only way to do with infertility.
What are the factors affecting female, male infertility? What is the reason? Is it necessary to apply for IVF immediately after establishing the diagnosis? What additional examinations are needed?
Sometimes IVF is really the only solution for infertility, when there are absolute indications for this procedure. The World Health Organization identifies 23 female and 18 male factors leading to infertility. For example, it may be associated with impaired activity of the endocrine system, with the consequences of previously transferred inflammatory diseases of the genital organs, with congenital malformations of the genital sphere. There are many conditions in which the ability to conceive is sharply reduced, for example, with anemia or, for example, extreme vitamin D deficiency. Of course, when the cause of infertility is established and there are indications for this procedure, the earlier it is carried out, the higher the probability of pregnancy. The order of the Ministry of Health No. 107-N of August 30, 2012 lists all the standard examination procedures that are carried out to select patients who need to use assisted reproductive technologies.
Myth 3. IVF always leads to multiple pregnancies.
What determines how many embryos take root?
Multiple pregnancy refers to complications of ART. Sometimes, this is, frankly, a very desirable complication for a married couple. All international associations of fertility specialists do not recommend transferring more than two embryos into one uterus in one treatment cycle. And only in some cases, when as a result of repeated attempts to get embryos of unsatisfactory quality, the number of transferred embryos can be increased to increase the likelihood of conception.
If you transfer embryos to the blastocyst stage (the fifth day of embryonic development) and if they are of good quality, then ideally transfer one embryo, then a multiple pregnancy is excluded in principle.
We all need to be well aware of the fact that multiple pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, dissociated fruit development, and many other undesirable conditions associated with excessive stress on the woman’s body.
The number of embryos that can be implanted after transferring them into the uterus directly depends on their quality and on the quality of the endometrium (uterine lining), as well as on other indicators that the attending physician takes into account.
If these factors are ideal and there is a favorable interaction between the cells of the embryo and the cells of the endometrium, then the implantation of the embryo will occur with great probability. This happens in the so-called “implantation window” – a time when the endometrium is fully ready to “shelter” the embryo and become for it a “home” for the next 9 months.