Motherhood is a divinity that every woman aspire to. But, nowadays, more and more couples are finding difficulty in conceiving. Stressful working environment, hectic schedules, pollution, mobile radiations etc are playing a major role in the persistently rising incidence of infertility (inability to conceive even after staying together for 1yr). Many couples are advised to go for IVF. But sometimes pregnancy can be achieved with small measures and treatments which are less expensive and tedious than IVF.
Here is a list of conditions when IVF is truly needed for a couple :
- Blocked fallopian tubes- There are two fallopian tubes attached to the uterus. An egg is released every month and it travels through either of these fallopian tubes to meet the sperm. In cases where both the tubes are blocked, the only option left is IVF. To confirm if tubes are actually blocked, the patient is advised to go for laparoscopic surgery. It is a minor surgery, which involves hospitalization for 6-7hours. In cases there are minor blockages, then we can do corrective surgery as well, in the same sitting. This corrective tubal surgery, for opening up the blocked tubes, is called Tuboplasty. This is also done laparoscopically ( small 2-3 scars 5mm each).
- Unexplained Infertility- In cases where there is no abnormality found in semen parameters or tubes etc, such cases are known as unexplained infertility. When such couples are not able to conceive even after staying together for 2 years or even after undergoing6-12 cycles of IUI, then IVF along with ICSI, is a good option for such couples. We usually advice such couples to undergo few cycles of IUI (intrauterine insemination) before going for IVF. Intrauterine Insemination is cheaper and less tedious procedure as compared to IVF. The cumulative success rate of IUI after12 cycles is 80%. While the success rate of IVF is 40-50% in best of the labs across the world.
- Abnormal Semen Parameters- In some cases, there is marked abnormality in semen analysis like counts less than10 million/ml or motility less than 30% etc. Such patients are advised to go for IVF if there is no improvement even after empirical treatment. Few couples can be advised to go for IUI in case there is an improvement after medicines or injections etc.
- Low AMH- Sometimes, due to career commitments or other family issues, there is a delay in planning a pregnancy. Rarely, Ovarian Egg reserve has declined to such a low level that there is difficulty in achieving pregnancy naturally. Therefore when a female partner is 35yrs or more, then we usually advise them to get a blood test done for AMH. It tells us about egg reserve in one’s ovaries. When AMH <1 ng/ ml, it is advisable to go for IVF immediately else we may have to go for the option of donor eggs. Even though AMH < 1ng/ml signifies low reserve and there are chances of a poor ovarian response, but it marks a deadline for women who want to have a baby genetically of their own. There is a very narrow window of the time period before a premature ovarian insufficiency is established completely.