Fertility science has come a long way since the maiden cry of Louise Brown, the first child born through In-vitro fertilization in 1978. In the last four decades, doctors and medical scientists have helped IVF modernize and popularize in a way that it has become a household word. Tens of thousands of babies are born each year through IVF all across the world.
Unlike how promising it seems numerically, the procedure of IVF can be onerous at times, requiring a lot of patience and commitment. The process is quite complex and comprehensive, involving fertilization outside the body and placing the embryo again in the uterus.
Understanding IVF
Without a doubt, IVF is the finest gift of the medical technology to childless couples who want to be parents. The procedures of In-vitro fertilization begin with the extraction of women’s eggs from the ovaries and retrieving sperm. The male and female reproductive cells are then combined manually in a laboratory to fertilize. The fertilized embryo is then implanted into the woman’s uterus.
“Fertilization of eggs in a laboratory can take place either by simply combining the sperm and eggs or by the 'Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection' (ICSI) technique – the introduction of a single sperm cell into each egg," explains Gautam Allahbadia Mumbai, a Dubai-based IVF consultant.
IVF, why?
All across the globe, there are millions of people facing the issue of infertility. They seek IVF assistance due to a number of reasons, ranging from hormonal imbalance to low egg count and from absence of fallopian tubes to low sperm count. In India, genetic diseases of either of the parents is found to be a major factor leading to the increase in infertility cases.
Although In-vitro fertilization is the one-stop solution to almost all fertility-related issues, doctors recommend going through a number of other assisted reproduction techniques before trying IVF. Doctors suggest patients to go through normal surgery, fertility medication, and artificial insemination process before going for In-vitro fertilization. Gautam Allahbadia Mumbai says, the treatment of IVF is reserved for those cases in which these procedures have failed to work.
IVF science advancement
For fertilization to be successful, it is very important that the sperm’s head fuses to the outer layer of the eggs (ovum). The sperm then enters ova’s cytoplasm – the site of fertilization. There are multiple cases in which the sperm fails to break into the cytoplasm for several reasons including sperm’s inability to swim. In such cases, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is preferred by a majority of doctors across the world.
Many a time, very few sperm cells are produced by the male partner to perform normal insemination or a blockage is found in their reproductive tract. ICSI solves these fertility problems with an impressive success rate. Studies have found that about 60-70% of eggs are fertilized in a healthy state by ICSI.
Minimal Stimulation
IVF Lite, a risk-free alternative of conventional IVF treatment, is getting popular across the globe. Since this procedure’s cost is quite low and comes with hardly any side effect, childless couples in globally, are going for it. The lite version of IVF is equally successful with women of all age groups.
“Minimal stimulation IVF procedure works best for women above age 38, as they tend to be lower responders and produce a crop of more euploid embryos with minimal stimulation,” says Gautam Allahbadia Mumbai, who popularized IVF Lite in India and the Middle East region.

Author's Bio: 

A health consultant and a part time blogger interested in topics concerned with health, parenting and lifestyle.