Infertility Treatment: How late is it to go for In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

Infertility has continue to affect most couples who are willing to have children around the world. It is sensitive matter to discuss anytime so from my personal experience and a little addition and tips from a family doctor as well as my stay at the medical school, I came up with this well refined article for those suffering from infertility and those preparing to go for IVF.

Infertility Treatment: How late is it to go for In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

Like all natural pregnancy, the success rate of IVF also decreases with age. A couple needs to consult a fertility specialist as soon as they undergo the first sign of infertility. Nevertheless, its best and advisable to know from an expert how late is it to go for IVF

In Vitro Fertilisation is a procedure of assisted reproduction in which a man’s sperm and a woman’s eggs are retrieved and combined in a laboratory dish. When one or more eggs are fertilised, they are transferred into a woman’s uterus, where they implant and develop in the uterine lining. An IVF treatment cycle usually lasts for four weeks, and more than one IVF may be required to get a positive pregnancy test.

An IVF is more popular amongst couples because it can be done using their own eggs and sperm or even from a donor’s sperm or embroyos. Those still finding it hard to conceive can opt for some less-invasive treatment options which include reproductive medications, increased production of eggs, ovulation induction, and Intrauterine insemination (IUI).  As a couple, please note that An IVF treatment is usually only recommended when the rest of the options fail. It is also the only option for woman whose fallopian tubes are blocked. IVF is one the most efffective treatments to get pregnant and serious complications from IVF are rare; however, it is a time sensitive procedure.

So why is IVF considered a time sensitive procedure?

IVF is known to have a higher success rate without delayed initiation. Couples and those going for it should understand there biological clock, as the succes rate of the treatment will depend on their ability to produce eggs or sperm. When I say its time-sentitive, it means the procedure consists of numerous tests like evaluating ovarian reserve, semen analysis, uterine cavity examination, etc. Women and men over 37 years are more vulnerable to losing their reproductive potential, causing infertility. They have a low ovarian reserve and low sperm count with depleted quality. The procedure is time sensitive and delayed decision of IVF treatments can lead to unsuccessful IVF results, further causing depression, and anxiety.

How Late is it for couples to go for IVF?

Couples with fertility issues often ask if they can still undergo IVF treament to conceive a child. The answer to this can be ‘Yes or No” as there have been various successful cases of women in their 40s and 50s having children with the help of IVF. But one should bear in mind that that the success rate decreases with patient’s age. There is also a higher risk of pregnancy complications. These complications include an increased risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, miscarriage, and even genetic abnormalities. Therefore, the most common age group who pursue IVF is around mid 30s and 40s.women in their 30s and mid 40s are the ideal candidates for IVF, but women in their late 40s and above should be healthy without any medical conditions to become good canddiates for the treatment.

Women can use their eggs for IVF, but as they grow older, the quantity and quality of their eggs continue to decline. Even if the eggs of older women are fertilised, they may have difficult time implanting, causing more complications and making the process more challenging for the women. It is recommeded that older women use younger eggs to have a higher chance of successful pregnancy. They can use either their own eggs that were frozen at an earlier stage or eggs from a donor.

 The Good sides of IVF

It is the joy of every family and especially the woman to have a child. Ivf treatment has helped many couples around the globe and blessed them with a baby. Although there is no wrong time for having a baby, it is best if you are aware of all the consequences of trying to have achild at a later age. While women can opt for IVF treatment to conceive when they are older, their male partners should do more too to support them and the process involve.

Finally, it is recommended not to ignore the signs of infertility and visit a doctor to evaluate and ensure a successful pregnancy.

N.B. Special thanks to Dr. Florence Njoku, of the University of Portharcourt, Nigeria for her inputs on the subject matter and Dr. Preeti Mahawar, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertilty East, Kolkata, for your contribution as well.

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