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IVF

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The menstrual cycle of fertile women usually lasts about a month. This time and under the influence of the body’s own natural hormones, a tiny sac within the ovary containing an egg grows to about the size of a grape. At a point midway in the cycle, this egg is released from the ovary and ovulation occurs. Ovulation is also regulated by hormones. The egg, which is ready for fertilization, then passes into the uterine tubes to await the arrival of fertile sperm. Ovulation is a naturally occurring event and the desire to have children is a similarly natural instinct. That instinct, however, cannot always be fulfilled. The causes of unwanted ______ are numerous but so are the means of treating them.

The technique of in vitro fertilization or IVF removes several eggs from the ovaries for fertilization in the laboratory. After a few days, one or two of these fertilized eggs which are now known as embryos are returned to the uterus in the hope that they implant and become a pregnancy. Women undergoing IVF are given special reproductive hormones to encourage several eggs to develop in the ovaries. Final maturation of the egg itself is induced by the administration of a further hormone. Thirty-six hours later, the fluid containing the eggs are drawn from the ovary with a needle; this is usually performed under light sedation in a short, outpatient procedure with the doctor using ultra-sound to check proceedings. The eggs collected from the ovary are then mixed with a sample of the male partner sperm which has been already washed and concentrated. The eggs and sperm are then left in an incubator set at thirty-seven degrees at thirty-four hours so fertilization can take place. During this time, only one of many sperm cells will penetrate ...

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...es carry a higher risk of premature delivery and miscarriage. Therefore every attempt is made in order to avoid them. Other risks include ectopic pregnancy, where the fertilized egg plants outside the uterus usually in the fallopian tube and needs immediate medical attention as it cannot develop normally there. In less than 2 percent of cases, Ovarian Hyper Simulation Syndrome develops. In OHSS, the ovaries become enlarged and extra fluid can accumulate in the abdomen and there is a slight risk in developing blood clots. This complication requires rest, close-monitoring, and may require hospilization for intravenous fluid for the drainage of abdominal cavity.

As with all fertility treatments, the first time may not work and your doctor may suggest stopping this method and trying a new one. This trial and error is a regular part of the assisted fertility process.
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