There can be many causes of infertility. Most often, congenital disorders, sexually transmitted diseases, age and severe stress experienced by residents of large cities are “to blame” for infertility. It must be remembered that each problem has its own tool for solving – and this is not only IVF, but also artificial insemination with the husband’s sperm, natural cycle, “soft stimulation”, banking, programs with donor oocytes, surrogacy. The optimal treatment method that is right for you can only be selected by an obstetrician-gynecologist-reproductologist after an appropriate examination.
If you are planning a pregnancy, but it does not occur within 12-14 months, do not delay the visit to the doctor. Reproductive health is handled by an obstetrician-gynecologist-reproductologist. What is in vitro fertilization (IVF), how it helps to solve the problem of infertility and how to choose the right clinic for the procedure, explains Irina Vasilievna Bobrova, doctor of the highest category, obstetrician-gynecologist-reproductologist of the clinic “Scandinavia AVA-PETER”, member of the Russian Association Human Reproductions (RARCH).
IVF has been prescribed for you – what’s next?
Despite the variety of approaches that reproductologists use, in vitro fertilization remains one of the key methods of assisted reproductive technology.
Examination before IVF
Before the IVF procedure, you need to undergo an examination. At the initial appointment, the reproductologist necessarily discusses what kind of research, in what time frame, where and how should be taken to get the most reliable information. If any changes in the analyzes and in the general health of the woman are revealed, we must correct them together with the patients before the procedure. At this stage, the woman, if necessary, consults with specialized specialists – endocrinologists, hematologists, geneticists.
Based on the history, objective examination, ultrasound examination, hormonal background test results, the doctor selects an IVF protocol suitable for the patient.
Joining the IVF Program
The program begins with controlled ovarian stimulation. With the help of special hormonal preparations, the doctor activates the processes of follicular growth and egg maturation. This stage can take up to 1.5-2 weeks.
IVF egg collection
To carry out the egg collection procedure, transvaginal follicular puncture is performed. A puncture is done under intravenous anesthesia. The doctor punctures the follicles with a sterile needle and picks up the mature eggs. Then, the obtained eggs are fertilized and embryo cultivation begins, which lasts 3-5 days.
Embryo transfer to the uterus
At the end of this stage, the most promising embryos (usually 1 or 2) are transferred to the uterine cavity. The choice of the optimal number of embryos for transfer is determined by both medical indications and the desire of the couple. Now the most rational is the selective transfer of one embryo into the uterine cavity. This approach significantly reduces the risks of multiple pregnancy.
After 2 weeks – a blood test for hCG
After the embryo is transferred to the uterine cavity, hCG is synthesized in the body – chorionic gonadotropin. Monitoring its concentration allows you to judge the onset and development of pregnancy. These two weeks, the woman is in constant contact with the doctor. To succeed, under the supervision of a doctor, a woman continues to take hormonal drugs that ensure implantation (attachment) and embryo development.
Waiting for ultrasound results
If an ultrasound scan shows that the pregnancy is developing normally, the woman is registered for pregnancy and continues to be observed at the obstetrician-gynecologist at the place of residence or in the selected clinic.
How to choose a clinic for IVF
IVF is a very complex procedure, the success of which to a large extent depends on the experience and qualifications of specialists, on the equipment and equipment of the reproductive center. Performance indicators and patient reviews help evaluate the work of the clinic.
According to the RARCH (Russian Human Reproduction Association) register, over 100,000 IVF programs are conducted in the Russian Federation for the year.
The average pregnancy rate is about 38%. In the clinic “Scandinavia AVA-PETER” this indicator reaches 53.8% (according to data for 2017).
Not every Russian city has a center for human reproduction, and there are even fewer leading ones with the ability to use the most modern scientific developments of clinics. Therefore, to go to another city for an IVF procedure is a completely normal practice.
Married couples not only from all over the country, but also from near and far abroad come to the Scandinavia AVA-PETER clinic, which has been treating male and female infertility with assisted reproductive technologies (ART) since 1996, in St. Petersburg. In the clinic, you can go through various ART programs both at the expense of personal funds and through compulsory medical insurance.
Before you go to the clinic, you should talk with the doctor over the phone to find the optimal consultation time and coordinate actions to prepare for the program.