In Vitro Fertilization is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) commonly referred to as IVF.
This is the process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus.
Other forms of assisted reproductive technology include gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) and zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT).
However, in case a couple cannot be helped through procedures such as in vitro fertilization, they may want to consider using donor eggs and sometimes donor embryos as well that allow an infertile couple to carry a child and give birth.
- Fallopian tube damage or blockage: This condition makes it difficult for an egg to be fertilized with a sperm or for an embryo to reach the uterus.
- Ovulation disorders: If ovulation is infrequent or absent, the chances are there will be fewer eggs for fertilization.
- Endometriosis: This condition occurs when the uterine tissue implants and starts to grow outside the uterus which in turn affects the function of the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes.
- Uterine fibroids: Fibroids are generally benign tumors mostly in the wall of the uterus and are common in women in their 30s and 40s. These can interfere with implantation of the fertilized egg.
- Previous tubal sterilization or removal: If you’ve had tubal ligation which is a type of sterilization wherein the fallopian tubes are cut or blocked to permanently prevent pregnancy.
- Impaired sperm production or function: Below-average sperm concentration, weak movement of sperm, or abnormalities in sperm size and shape can also make it difficult for sperm to fertilize an egg. However, it is important to note that if semen abnormalities are found, it might be required to see a specialist to determine if there are correctable problems or underlying health concerns.
- Unexplained infertility: Often times, unexplained infertility may happen that means no cause of infertility has been found despite evaluation for common causes.
- Fertility preservation for cancer or other health conditions: If the expected parent is undergoing or about to undergo cancer treatment that may include radiation or chemotherapy, it may prove to be harmful for fertility. Women can have eggs harvested from their ovaries and frozen in an unfertilized state for later use. Or the eggs can be fertilized and frozen as embryos for future use.
Why you may need a Donor egg?
- Premature ovarian failure: A condition in which menopause has started much earlier than usual more typically before age 40
- Diminished ovarian reserve: Here the eggs that are forming are of low quality which can often be caused by age since fertility drops off steeply after 40.
- Genetically transmitted diseases: If the mother is suffering from any medical condition that could be passed on to the child, it is safer to opt for Donor Egg.
- IVF Failure: If there is a previous history of failure with IVF, especially when the quality of the eggs may be the problem.