Test tube baby is a generic name for a baby who is conceived through ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) procedure such as IVF (In vitro fertilization) or IVF with ICSI. Under IVF procedure, the eggs of mother from her ovaries are retrieved and then fertilized in a laboratory by the sperm of father. After that, the conceived embryo is attached to the mother uterus for the normal development of the baby.
What is a Test Tube Baby?
A Test Tube Baby is a term used for a baby that is conceived outside the woman's body. The process by which a test tube baby is conceived is known as In Vitro Fertilization. In simpler words, under IVF process, the eggs from mother’s ovaries are retrieved and mixed with the father’s sperm in a laboratory dish for fertilization. A test tube baby is a blessing to those women who can’t conceive naturally and is immensely popular worldwide.
1- If the father faces problems of low sperm count and/or low sperm mobility.
2- If the mother has problems in her fallopian tubes such as blockage, weak follicles, or a complicated uterus.
3- Low cervix response in a mother.
4- If either father/mother or both have some disease and they don’t want it to travel to their baby.
5- If one is single parent or same sex parent and want to fulfil their desire to become parents.
6- You can improve your chances of getting pregnant after an IVF treatment by following certain changes in lifestyle as suggested by the fertility experts.
Test Tube Baby Procedure
As stated above, one needs to go through IVF procedure to have a test tube baby.
1- First step regarding this is the selection of an IVF/ fertility doctor or a fertility clinic where you can get hassle free IVF treatment.
2- After you consult an IVF doctor or IVF specialist or an IVF clinic, he/she first makes sure that the mother’s ovaries are producing multiple follicles by using drugs such as gonadotropin given in the form of an injection.
3- Followed by that, a continuous monitoring is done using ultrasound and hormone testing.
4- Excess fluid from ovaries is wiped out in some cases to see the presence of the eggs.
5- Once the eggs become visible, ultrasound guided needles are used to retrieve them.
6- After this, fertilization process takes place. Under this procedure, fertilization of the eggs with the sperms from the partner or donor takes place and the embryo is prepared in the laboratory.
7- Created Embryo is cultured and monitored for 3-5 days. Sometimes more than one or two embryos are also cultured. But their survival depends upon the mother’s health.
8- In such cases the excess embryos maybe put in to freezing for the next cycle, in case the need arises.
9- Transfer of an embryo into the mother’s uterus happens afterward by sticking the embryo to mother’s uterus.
10- If the embryo remains stick to the wall for up to 25 days, the doctor declares pregnancy.
Complete rest of up to seven days is suggested post this process so that the embryo could adjust to the new environment.
Risk factors to consider while going for a Test Tube Baby
1- Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome
OHS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome) is a very serious situation which may arise during the IVF procedure. The use of fertility stimulating drugs such as Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) may cause the ovaries to overreact manifested in terms of swelling and cramps. A woman going through IVF procedure may also experience bloating, nausea, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, heartburn etc. Sometimes, she might also experience shortness of breath and excessive weight gain as a side effect to the ovulation inducing drugs. However, these complications are not absolute and can be easily treatable.
2- Issues regarding egg retrieval
There may arise the issue of bladder infection or infection in the blood during the egg retrieval process. This is due to the reason that, in the egg retrieval process the performing doctor uses a needle to collect the eggs from the ovaries. In this process, there are paramount risks including an infection in the blood vessels, bladder or the bowel.
3- Risk of Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg implants itself outside the uterus instead of the uterine walls. Although there are 5-10% chances of the pregnancy turning into an ectopic with IVF, one should be careful regarding this. When this kind of situation emerges, abortion is the only way to get rid of complications.
Miscarriage is very common with IVF. Normally the risk is more with the frozen embryos. The biological age of the women and the underworking hormones are also one of the reasons where miscarriage is possible with IVF.
5- Risk of multiple births
Risk of multiple births is paramount with a test tube baby making. This is due to the factor that to mitigate any risk factor, more than one embryo is transferred within the uterus, which may end up in multiple births. It carries the risk of obstetrical complication and painful labour session.
7- Health of the babies
Test Tube Babies are more prone to the birth defects than the normal babies. Test tube baby is exposed to birth defects, chromosomal abnormalities and low birth weight due to the usage of the fertility drugs.
Success Rate of Test Tube Baby
The success rate of IVF or test tube baby in India is high i.e. 65% among the females within 21 to 30 years of age. The chances of successful IVF are highest among younger women.
Are Test Tube Baby Healthy?
Since the inception of IVF technology, most of the test tube babies are healthy. However few cases have been found of low birth weight and diabetes.
How much does Test Tube Babies Cost?
The test babies can cost between ‘$6,000 to $11,000’in UK and US. And if you are looking for cost details in India, click on Fair Treatment Cost calculator.
Is the process of IVF painful?
During the cycles, there will be several times when one might expect pain. The woman will start experiencing pain during her injections for eggs development. And pain is also expected when the ovaries starts to enlarge, resulting in bloating and lower abdomen pain. The woman can expect pain during egg retrieval phase. And then the woman can have pain during embryo transfer.
How long does the complete IVF treatment take?
It usually takes about four to six weeks for completing one cycle of IVF. Then you need to wait for few weeks to let eggs mature.
What are the options after failed IVF?
The first thing you can do is consulting other doctor. You can go for a sperm donor or an egg donor depending on your requirement. To know more about the reasons behind failed IVF, read our article on: Causes for IVF Failure.
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