28 April 2022

Commonly Asked Questions About IVF Treatment | What You Should Know

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When couples are struggling to conceive naturally, many turn to IVF treatment. This is a form of treatment that involves an egg being removed from a woman’s ovaries and fertilised with sperm in a laboratory. The fertilised egg, or embryo, is then put back into the woman’s womb to develop. 

If you are interested in IVF treatment, but you have a lot of questions, then do not worry - the Sims IVF team has written an educational post that answers a number of the most frequently asked questions in this area. Read below to learn more about IVF treatment, and contact us via the details below if you’d like to make a general enquiry.

What Does IVF Actually Mean?

IVF refers to ‘in-vitro fertilisation’, which in a literal sense means fertilisation in glass. Essentially, IVF is the process in which a woman’s eggs are fertilised outside of her body in a laboratory. Following this, the embryos are then subsequently transferred back into the uterus a number of days later. IVF is one of many techniques available to help individuals with fertility problems have a baby. 

Who Can Have IVF Treatment?

Women who have blocked, damaged or absent fallopian tubes are recommended to have IVF treatment. What’s more, IVF is commonly used in cases of unexplained infertility and in certain instances of male factor infertility. In fact, IVF can be used in conjunction with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) if the male factor infertility is severe. 

What Does the IVF Process Involve?

The IVF treatment process involves four steps. Firstly, there is stimulation of the ovaries, which is done to promote development and maturation of the eggs. A consultant gynaecologist will provide the woman with fertility drugs to help her ovaries produce multiple follicles. Once the follicles have developed, there will be a hormone injection which imitates the natural trigger for ovulation. 

The next step is retrieval of the eggs, which is overseen in a clinic under local anaesthesia. Thirdly, there is the fertilisation of the eggs and culture of the embryos. In this stage, the sperm is prepared following a semen sample provided by the male partner. The sperm preparation is added to the dishes which contain the eggs, and overnight, they are incubated together. 

The fertilised eggs are cultured in the IVF laboratory until the third day, at which the best 1-3 embryos are chosen and put back into the woman’s uterus. Embryo transfer is a straightforward theatre procedure that is performed by a doctor without need for anaesthesia. 

Can More than One Embryo be Transferred?

Another common question relates to transferring more than one embryo. Fundamentally, if more than one embryo is transferred, there is an increased likelihood of several pregnancies. It is recommended for just a single embryo to be transferred, however, there are special cases where it is worth discussing the possibility of transferring more than one embryo with a consultant. The decision will always be made with you and the consultant, and the maximum number of embryos that can be moved is two. 

What is the Success Rate of IVF?

Many people want to find out the success rate of IVF, and the truth is that the chances of success varies by patients. Success depends on different factors, particularly the age of the woman. On average, around 28% of patients will have a baby following a single attempt at standard IVF treatment. 

Want to Enquire About IVF Treatment?

If you would like to discuss IVF treatment options with a specialist, then please contact Sims IVF today. You can call us on the following numbers - Clonskeagh; +353 1 208 0710, Swords; +353 1 807 2732 or  Cork; +353 21 441 0900. To book an appointment and find out if IVF can help you become pregnant, then please use the online appointment form located on our website, and we’ll be in touch shortly. 

Please also take a look at our ‘Have Your Say Survey’ which is examining attitudes towards fertility treatment. We’d really appreciate your input on this survey.

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