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    in vitro fertilisation (ivf)

    Importance and Difference between babies born from IVF and Normal conception

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    • 4.5   (1 Votes)

    IVF procedure is safe and babies born through IVF treatment grow healthy like a normal baby. The difference between IVF and normal conception is that the egg is fertilized with sperms in the IVF lab in IVF procedure. In normal conception, fertilization occurs directly in the uterus of the woman.

    IVF is a process where mature eggs are retrieved from a woman’s ovaries and fertilized by a sperm in a lab. The fertilized egg or eggs are implanted in the uterus. One cycle of IVF takes about two weeks. The chances of having a normal baby using IVF depend on many factors, such as age and the cause of infertility. If more than one embryo is implanted in the uterus, IVF can result in a pregnancy with more than one fetus (multiple pregnancies). Around 6.5 million children are born every year through IVF and similar techniques but we are only just starting to learn about the long-term health of people conceived using assisted reproduction techniques (ART), who may have a normal growth or a higher risk of obesity in later life. Many people are skeptical about IVF babies being as normal as the ones who are born naturally. IVF babies are as normal as other children as far as their physical attributes and mental capacity are concerned. (1)

    Need for IVF (In vitro Fertilization)

    Many couples opt for In vitro Fertilization (IVF) when all the options of conceiving fail. It is a treatment for couples with infertility or genetic problems. Sometimes, IVF may be offered as a primary treatment for infertility in women over age 40 years. IVF can also be preferred if there are certain health conditions. IVF may be an option because of the following reasons: (2)

    • Blocked or damaged fallopian tube makes it difficult for fertilization of an egg or for an embryo to travel to the uterus. (3)
    • If a woman suffers from ovulation disorders, fewer eggs are available for fertilization.
    • Premature ovarian failure is the inability of the ovaries to produce normal amounts of the hormone estrogen or have eggs to release regularly. It is a loss of normal ovarian function before the age of 40.
    • Endometriosis occurs when the uterine tissue implants and grows on the other pelvic organs such as fallopian tube or ovaries. (4)
    • Uterine fibroids are common among women in their 30s and 40s. These are benign tumors in the wall of the uterus and can interfere with the implantation of the fertilized egg.
    • IVF can be an option if a woman had tubal sterilization before. Tubal ligation is a type of sterilization in which the fallopian tubes are blocked or removed to permanently prevent pregnancy.
    • When there is impaired sperm production, below-average sperm concentration, poor mobility of sperm, or abnormalities in sperm size and shape, it can cause difficulty in the fertilization of an egg.
    • When there is no cause of infertility despite evaluation for common causes. (5)
    • IVF may be a good option for those couples with a genetic disorder. If there is a risk of passing on a genetic disorder to the child, they may be a good candidate for preimplantation genetic diagnosis, a procedure that involves IVF. 
    • If a woman is about to start treatment like radiation or chemotherapy that could harm fertility, IVF for fertility preservation may be an option. The eggs can be fertilized and frozen as embryos for later use.
    • IVF can also be a good option for women whose pregnancy poses a serious health risk. (11)

    Need for IVF treatment

    IVF risks to mother and baby

    Couples with fertility problems are often concerned about risks associated with IVF. In fact, some IVF risks are reduced and some are inherent. A woman who needs IVF for a particular condition may have a higher risk of pregnancy in any case. There is no clear evidence that IVF babies are more at risk from abnormalities than those born through natural conception. Also, there is no clear evidence that women undertaking IVF are at higher risk of certain cancers. Certain types of an abnormality like chromosome problems are less common with IVF. However, IVF babies tend to have more problems at birth, and this may not be due to IVF. It may be because women who conceive through IVF are more likely to be at high-risk in pregnancy. (6)

    Birthweight of IVF Babies

    The risk of an abnormal baby with IVF is low although it is much less clear whether IVF contributes a long-term risk. IVF babies tend to be smaller than average, for example, babies with a birth weight of less than 2 kg are more likely to develop stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure and osteoporosis at a slightly younger age. This may occur because of Epigenetics, a condition where the genes are affected because of the difference in the environment in the womb and at the time of conception. The percentage of babies born at a normal weight through IVF is 10 percent for gestational age. Babies that are large for gestational age are more likely to be born to mothers with high body mass index or to women who had previously given birth. (7)

    birth weight of IVF babies

    Risk of multiple births (Triplets) with IVF

    When more than one embryo is transferred to the uterus, there is a risk of multiple pregnancies. Multiples are more likely to have birth defects, around one in every 24 babies born as multiples can be stillborn and one in 13 can be seriously handicapped. Most of the multiple births have been conceived following assisted reproductive treatments. Triplets virtually never go to term, if they survive pregnancy at all, they are born six to eight weeks prematurely. (8)

    Difference between IVF and Natural conception

    The only difference between IVF and natural process is that in the case of IVF, eggs are retrieved from a woman’s ovaries and fertilized with sperms in the lab under the supervision of seasoned doctors. The fusion takes place in the test tube instead of a fallopian tube. This fertilized egg is known as an embryo which can be frozen for storage or transferred to a woman’s uterus. Once the embryo is transferred into the uterus, the woman gets pregnant and gives birth to a child after the stipulated time. (9)

    IVF Babies are Normal

    It is true that in IVF, the doctor inserts the embryo directly into the uterus of women through the cervix, the process of women getting pregnant hereafter is as normal as it happens in case of a normal pregnancy. (10)

    Nothing is certain but most IVF babies have similar quality of life to non-IVF children of the same age. They have a normal body mass index and history of pubertal development. Their educational outcomes and completion of tertiary education are similar to children conceived normally.

    Most IVF children grow into healthy young adults with a quality of life and educational achievement comparable to those of their non-IVF conceived peers. There is no reason why an IVF baby should not play cricket for the national team or win a Nobel prize. The risk of problems with IVF remains small and most of the problems appear to be associated with certain infertility procedures

    Find out the best IVF treatment centers through OVO Fertility. Book an appointment by calling us at +918268260808.

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    Manajith Trusha

    Dec. 10, 2018, 3:48 p.m. 4.5

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    The information displayed on this webpage covers general information on several medical conditions, fertility treatments, IVF ICSI procedure, home remedies, and their respective treatments. The exclusive purpose of the displayed information is for the sake of general understanding and it has been collected from open sources which heavily rely on research and laboratory tests. However, the information shared here should not be considered as a medical advice or an alternative to consultation with a registered medical practitioner or licensed healthcare professional.

    It is not advised to self-diagnose or treat any medical condition or disease following the information given in this article. We insist you to consult a registered practitioner and never try to replace their advice or discontinue treatment in between by relying solely on the information obtained. External links to different websites as well as videos given on the website serve the purpose of sharing knowledge only. Ovo Health being an Independent Medical Information platform is neither responsible nor guarantees the authenticity, reliability, and accuracy of these videos and websites in any way. We do not intend the information displayed here to be used for a medical emergency, if you seek medical attention for yourself (or any other person with whom you want to share the information with), we advise you to directly get in touch with the hospital or the doctor.

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