Written by Dr Ila Gupta
The incidence of infertility is now prominent. This is why, it is imperative to discuss infertility concerns in order to optimise one’s ability to conceive. Based on the current understanding, one should know when is the right time to decide on IVF and consult the specialist in time to understand the whole procedure, success rate, and financial aspect. IVF is performed for tubal factor, male factor infertility, endometriosis, ovulatory disorders, unexplained infertility, fertility preservation, and for pre-implantation genetic screening or PGS.
Why timely intervention?
Timely intervention helps reduce the risk of miscarriage, birth defects, chromosomal abnormalities, and improves the chances of pregnancy.
Here’s what to keep in mind
IVF works better when you are younger
The age of the couple has a very important role to play as success rate starts declining after mid-thirties. This decline is seen most prominently in women aged 40 and over. Miscarriage rates and birth defects also increase in older women undergoing ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) for infertility. The miscarriage rate was 23.9 per cent in women who were 40 years of age and this percentage increased with each subsequent year, to a miscarriage rate of 66.7 per cent in women aged 45.
When you have Low AMH or poor egg reserve
Even younger women with low AMH or poor egg reserve should not waste time and plan for IVF to have a better pregnancy outcome. A younger woman with low AMH stands better chances as compared to the advanced age group.
Fallopian tubes are blocked
The function of fallopian tubes is to pick up the egg after ovulation and transfer to the mid tube where sperm fertilises the egg and transfers the fertilised egg to the uterus. If the tubes are infected, dilated, or tortuous, then egg’s pick-up function gets compromised.
Chances of pregnancy (ectopic pregnancy) in the tube also increases.
If the tubes are severely damaged or blocked then without wasting time, one should decide to go for IVF.
When everything looks normal (unexplained infertility)
While undergoing infertility tests, the couple is asked to undergo certain basic blood tests, semen analysis, tubal patency tests. If these reports are normal and in spite of trying natural/IUI (Intrauterine insemination) cycles, a patient fails to conceive, then the patient should move on to IVF to overcome the limiting factors of IUI.
If you are suffering from endometriosis
If you are suffering from grade 1-2 endometriosis with compromised fallopian tubes or low ovarian reserve, you can discuss IVF option with your doctor. But in grade 3-4 endometriosis cases, one should not waste time and opt for IVF.
Poor semen parameters
Men suffering from azoospermia (no sperms in semen sample) or low sperm count of less than five million, poor sperm motility, and abnormal sperm shape should opt for IVF/ICSI without delay.
IVF is challenging and physically demanding
As the success rate of IVF is not always 100 per cent, it varies from individual to individual depending on the cause of infertility, age, ovarian reserve, quality of embryos, and many more factors. IVF requires a lot of patience, so prepare yourself physically and mentally in order to face these challenges.
The author is director, Ferticity Fertility Clinics, Delhi