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IVF Treatment Process

IVF (In vitro fertilization) has provided thousands of couples with a baby when other reproductive methods have failed. IVF occurs when sperm fertilizes an egg outside a woman's body: in vitro. This is usually done by removing the ovum (egg) during ovulation and fertilizing it with sperm in a laboratory setting. Once fertilized, the egg is placed in the woman's uterus where the fetus will grow and remain for the term of the pregnancy. To learn more about IVF, take a look at the questions below that have been answered by the Experts.

Can a blood disorder (thrombocytopenia) and a 3.5cm ovarian cyst cause IVF not to work? Could this condition cause a miscarriage?

In most cases, a blood clotting disorder such as this wouldn't prevent a woman from becoming pregnant or maintaining the pregnancy full term. However, other disorders such as Factor V Leidin and APA (antiphospholipid antibody syndrome) could prove to be problematic and should be treated. As for the cyst on the ovary, at 3.5cm, this shouldn't become an issue as long as it is a simple cyst. If the cyst presents a problem, most specialists would refuse to perform IVF until it was taken care of. As for a miscarriage occurring with IVF, in most cases, this occurs due to a genetic defect. Testing for genetic defects is exceptionally hard to do before placing an embryo. That is why it is in the best interests of both the mother and the potential fetus to discuss prior conditions with an IVF specialist before attempting the procedure. A laparoscopy can also be done to examine the fallopian tubes to check for fluid or water around them that could prove dangerous to the embryo.

Does IVF have a slower rate of pregnancy than a regular pregnancy? Is an embryo growth of 2mm at 7 weeks, with a faint heartbeat, considered abnormal?

In most cases, an IVF pregnancy will advance at the same rate as a pregnancy that is conceived the more conventional way. The pregnancies that seem to advance at a slower rate, however, tend to be the ones which miscarry. In most pregnancies, the embryo will begin to grow at one mm per day once the fetal pole is apparent, with a very measurable heartbeat by seven weeks. An embryo that has only grown to two mm by the seventh week with a very faint heartbeat will, in most cases, miscarry. Furthermore, if a miscarriage doesn't occur, there is usually a higher risk of birth abnormalities (defects).

Is mild cramping and clear discharge normal with an IVF transfer?

The mild cramping and clear discharge may be a result of the implantation or the hormones the woman has been asked to take. In other words, the discharge and cramping are normal symptoms that women experience with most IVF treatments. Since the early signs of implantation can vary, some people may not experience anything while others can have a clear watery discharge or start spotting blood. In certain cases, a clear discharge could also be a symptom of an infection. Infections such as urinary tract infections or bacterial vaginosis are possibilities to be explored and a doctor should be informed so that the infection can be treated. If the clear discharge is a result of the hormones, there isn’t major cause for worry since some of the hormones are generally discontinued once a positive pregnancy test has been obtained. In most cases, a pregnancy test can be taken 10 days from the IVF.

Is karyotyping necessary when undergoing IVF?

Karyotyping is testing designed to predetermine genetic disorders. Many times, karyotyping isn't required when there isn't a history of genetic issues. However, a genetics counselor is generally first consulted to determine the necessity of karyotyping. Once the counselor does a thorough background study of the family medical histories, they can determine if genetic issues are present. If there is a need for testing, the counselor can then inform the couple to take the test prior to IVF.

Can thyroid antibodies affect the chances of pregnancy with IVF?

Generally, thyroid antibodies won't affect a woman's chances of getting pregnant through IVF as long as her TSH is normal. However, thyroid issues usually tend to prevent ovulation. Again, this isn’t a cause for worry since the ovulation is stimulated by hormone injections in IVF. Adequate vitamin and mineral supplements should be taken however to help with healthy ovulation and implantation. While most women can easily become pregnant in the traditional manner, many women need assistance to conceive. This is why several women choose IVF as a way to sidestep infertility issues and have a baby. If you are interested in finding out more about IVF, ask an Expert now. They can offer medical insights and information both quickly and at an affordable cost.
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