Currently, the problem of childlessness among married couples is widespread. It is associated with sexually transmitted infections, with a negative impact of deteriorating ecology, as well as with congenital defects of the reproductive system, both in women and men. One of the effective methods to address the issue of infertility is in vitro fertilization.
In vitro fertilization (from the Latin “extra” – outside, beyond and Latin “corpus” – the body, that is, fertilization outside the body, abbr. IVF) is an assisted reproductive technology used in the case of infertility.
Before proceeding with the procedure of in vitro fertilization, the patient undergoes thorough preparation, which includes a standard list of procedures: the identification and correction of hormonal abnormalities, diagnosis and treatment of chronic infections, consultation with highly specialized professionals.
At the end of the preparatory stage, a strictly individual program of further actions is developed and introduced, which includes five main stages of artificial insemination.
Stage 1. Ovarian hyperstimulation and ovulation stimulation.
This stage can take from 10 days to 2 months. For IVF implementation, you need to come up several eggs at once. This greatly increases the chances of success. For stimulation, injections of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), chorionic gonadotropin (CG) are used in combination with agonists or antagonists of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH). The mode of administration of certain drugs-inducers of superovulation is called a “stimulation scheme” or “protocol”.
Stage 2. Extraction of eggs (puncture).
The growth of follicles is observed using ultrasound machines. When the dominant follicle reaches a certain size (16-20 mm), an egg extraction procedure is prescribed, namely the puncture of the ovarian follicles.
Puncture of the follicles is often carried out under general, rarely under local anesthesia, the needle is transvaginally controlled by ultrasound device. The purpose of the puncture is to aspirate the contents of the follicle. The resulting liquid is examined with the use of a microscope to detect eggs.
The resulting oocytes are washed from the follicular fluid and transferred to petri dishes containing culture medium, which are placed in incubators until the prepared sperm cells are added.
Stage 3. Fertilization using insemination and embryo cultivation.
In vitro fertilization is performed at this stage. Insemination is performed by embryologists in a specially equipped laboratory. A sperm suspension is added to the eggs in the nutrient medium. If the sperm parameters are normal, then the calculation is approximately as follows: 50,000–100,000 motile sperm cells per egg cell. This ratio is the standard for fertilization.
After sperm penetration, the egg is considered an embryo. Embryos develop in incubators from 2 to 6 days, reaching sizes from 60 to 200 cells.
Stage 4. Embryo transfer to the uterus.
The embryo is transferred to the uterus 2–5 days after fertilization of the egg. The procedure does not require anesthesia and is performed on a gynecological chair in a few minutes. A woman should have a full bladder. The embryo is transferred to the uterus by passing a special elastic catheter through the cervix. Usually 2 embryos are transferred.
Stage 5. Hormonal support of pregnancy.
To save pregnancy in the early stages, progesterone preparations are used, which affect the work of the corpus luteum. Such drugs as utrogectan, progesterone are widely used.
On the basis of statistical data, the causes of infertility were identified for women who resorted to the IVF method as follows: hyperprolactinemia accounted for 14%, congenital malformations of the uterus – 10%, impaired ovulation – 20%, uterine tubes adhesions – 56%, as a result of invasive interventions, including abortions.
The average age of women who used the method of IVF in the world is as follows : 80% were women from 30 to 40 years old, 20% were women who resorted to the IVF method after 40 years.
As for the information about the complications found in women after the IVF procedure, it was revealed that the syndrome of exhausted ovaries is one of the main complications, which is 25% of all cases, then polycystic disease – 17% and the onset of independent pregnancy – 8%.
As a result of a survey conducted in social networks among men and women of childbearing age, in order to identify awareness of the IVF method, the following results were obtained: 87% of women know and are aware of the IVF method, 13% are not familiar with the IVF method, 70% of men aware of the method of IVF, 30% are not aware.
Among 650 surveyed women from 18 to 45 years old, 93% of the respondents consider IVF as close procedure to natural childbirth. 7% consider this method unnatural. The same survey was conducted among men. The survey showed that 53% of the 700 men surveyed oppose IVF, considering it unnatural; 14% never thought about this problem, and only 33% have a positive attitude towards this method in the case of infertility.
In order to understand the attitude of various religions to the IVF method, the basic Concepts of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Decision of the Islamic Fiqh Council and the religious views of Buddhism on the intervention of science in the process of childbirth were studied. A survey was also conducted among followers of the Orthodox, Islamic and Buddhist faith.
The following data was received: 70% of respondents of the Orthodox faith, positively relate to the IVF method, consider this method as close as possible to the natural process of childbirth. 35% consider the method unnatural.
26% of Islam respondents consider IVF method unacceptable, considering this method as unnatural. 74% of respondents advocate for IVF, in cases of infertility couples, basing their point of view on the decision of the Islamic Fiqh Council. The survey was conducted by questioning 100 respondents in social networks.
83% of Buddhist respondents oppose IVF, as they believe that this method is contrary to the laws of nature. 13% of respondents support the development of assisted reproductive technologies.
Having talked with the fertility specialists at the women’s consultation for the family planning office, it turned out that among the 12 couples that used the IVF method, 6 couples faced the following problems in society: gossip, chitchats, unhealthy curiosity, inferiority labeling, constant unwanted questions. Solution of the problem: hide the fact that the child was born using the IVF method.
The result of the study showed that society is afraid of everything new, especially when it comes to health issues. However, the method of IVF is an effective way to solve the problem of childlessness and is gradually becoming widespread, being as close as possible to a natural childbirth.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is one of the most widely known types of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that is broadly applicable throughout the world. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is basically a relatively similar procedure to IVF with a difference that a fertility specialist makes sure that the sperm cell with increased motility will eventually penetrate the egg for fertilization. The Network of Reproductive Centers “Mother and Child” have been successfully performing IVF and ICSI procedures with an overall success rate over 62% for more than eleven years.
Contact IVF Group Surrogacy Services to schedule a free consultation with one of the fertility specialists at the network of reproductive medical centers “Mother and Child”.