IVF is a procedure in which eggs are fertilized outside the body, in vitro. It’s been around for decades and has helped many couples in Mountain View, California conceive children they would have otherwise not had. However, there are some things you might not know about IVF that could change your mind if you’re considering it as an option. The first step is finding a competent center for Fertility Consultation in Mountain View specialists. Here are four of those amazing facts.
The Egg’s Age Matters
A woman’s egg supply is finite. The eggs you were born with are the only ones you’ll ever have, and once they’re gone, they’re gone. Most women go through menopause in their mid-to-late 40s because there aren’t enough eggs left in their ovaries for a hormonal function to continue.
At birth, a female has about one to two million eggs. At puberty, that number is reduced to 300,000-400,000 because only the best quality eggs can finish maturing. By age 40, there are fewer than 25,000 left in her ovaries which is why females can’t conceive as easily by this time of life compared with their 20-something selves.
IVF Cycles are Much Longer Than Menstrual Cycles
One of the most amazing facts about IVF is how long it takes. The average IVF cycle starts with hormone injections to help stimulate egg production. If all goes well, after about two weeks, several eggs are retrieved from the female’s ovaries during a procedure called an “egg retrieval.”
After that comes fertilization, which can take up to four days; if all goes well, embryos are then cultured until they’re ready for transfer into the uterus, which takes about three more days. In total, that’s a minimum of six weeks from egg retrieval to embryo transfer, with an average IVF cycle taking about seven weeks from start to finish.
Hormonal Balance is Key
One of the most amazing facts about IVF is that it involves a lot of hormones. The female has to take several different kinds during an IVF cycle, and balancing these hormones is crucial for success.
The first step is stimulating egg production with injections of FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone). Then, mid-cycle, the female injects HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) to stimulate egg production and maturation.
Finally, when it’s time to retrieve eggs from the ovaries for fertilization, a GnRH agonist is given, which prevents any additional LH or FSH from being released, ensuring that all eggs are mature before retrieval.
The Safety Level is High
IVF is relatively safe for most females, with meager rates of complications. In general, IVF has a 65-75 percent success rate per cycle started, with an overall 30-35 percent success rate per egg retrieval.
It’s also very safe from a fertility standpoint. Once eggs are retrieved, they can be frozen until they’re ready for fertilization later on if need be.
IVF is an excellent option for couples struggling to conceive, but it’s essential to know the facts before starting. The egg supply of females starts at 1-2 million eggs and shrinks down to 25,000 in their 40s. That means that IVF can take up to 7 weeks (or more) from start to finish depending on how many times you try per cycle. It also takes many hormones that must be balanced correctly throughout the process; your doctor will help with this.