Dr Gautam Allahbadia explains when to consider an IVF
Even as medical science in Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) has made leaps over the 21st century, the general public continues to be unaware and misinformed about the procedures. Within ART, in-vitro fertilization is capable of helping people with wide range of conditions to experience parenthood.
Dr Gautam Allahbadia, who is Consultant Reproductive Endocrinology at the MMC IVF Centre in Dubai, UAE, takes up one of the most prominently asked questions regarding IVF — When to consider it?
A medical professional with 25 years of expertise in IVF, Dr. Gautam Allahbadia simplifies the reasons for which people should go for IVF:
- Blocked Fallopian Tubes
A blocked fallopian tube is the reason behind 30% cases of infertility in women. The egg gets obstructed by a blockage in the tubes, and this can prevent fertilization or cause an ectopic pregnancy. However, IVF is an ultrasound-guided process which avoids the blocked tubes altogether, which makes conception possible.
- Unregulated Ovulation
There are women whose ovulation cycle is highly unregulated due to underlying conditions, like PCOS, which affects between 4% to 20% of women, according to a research published in 2020 by the Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences. In such cases, the eggs produced might not be of a normal chromosomal complement to achieve successful fertilization. With IVF, mature eggs are located and retrieved and fertilized with sperm in laboratory conditions.
- Ovarian Failure
Premature ovarian failure, known as Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI), causes irregular periods and reduced fertility in the reproductive age group, and can even develop during the teenage years. According to medical research, this is attributed to lack of functioning follicles in the ovaries. In such cases, conception is possible through Donor Egg In-vitro Fertilization.
Rarely, the endometrium tissue which lines the uterus begins to grow outside in areas, causing inflammation and swelling. In US, 2 out of 5 women who suffer from infertility have endometriosis as the cause of it. For women with severe case of endometriosis, IVF is a proven method to achieve pregnancy.
Fibroids are benign tumors in women that develop due to high levels of estrogen. It is fairly common, with 1 out of 3 women being affected by it, especially between 30–50 years of age. Yet, most women can conceive through natural process. In specific conditions such as submucosal fibroids, it can cause infertility but this can be overcome through surgery followed by appropriate treatments.
Almost 50% genetic disorders have been attributed as a reason for infertility in men and women. Further, some chromosomal abnormalities can also be inherited by the infants which can cause medical problems in the future. IVF assists not only in conception for couples whose infertility reasons are genetic but also in eliminating various diseases through pre-implantation genetic screening