Thursday, November 10, 2022

Is IVF the most effective treatment for infertile couples ?

 IVF, or in vitro fertilization or test tube baby, is the most effective treatment option for infertile couples. The great thing about IVF is that treatment protocols have become standardized. And equally importantly, it allows us to solve any problem no matter what it is because we can bypass problems by doing IVF, which means what's not happening in the bedroom whether because the tubes are blocked or the sperms aren't good enough we can actually do it in the IVF laboratory.

But we also need to remember that IVF is not just a treatment option; it also provides us with very valuable diagnostic information and prognostic information. And let me explain a little bit about what I mean as far as diagnostic information goes, it tells us exactly how well the woman is capable of responding to a superovulation protocol.

We know that as women get older, their ovarian reserve drops, which is why we measure their AMH level, and their antral follicle count, but these are static measures, and the proof of the pudding is in the eating. So you can only know what the responses are by doing an IVF cycle, which means you'll have patients with an AMH level who still respond very well to a superovulation protocol.

And this is the information we can only get by actually doing an IVF treatment cycle. And more importantly, because IVF treatment cycles are dynamic, if the ovarian response to one particular standard superovulation protocol is not very good, we can change it for the next cycle. Equally importantly just like it allows us to dynamically assess ovarian response in the sense not only how many eggs do we get how mature the eggs are, but how many are fertilized did they form good quality embryos or not which is invaluable information.

Because it helps us tell the patient what to do differently next time. And that's why not only is it therapeutic as well as diagnostic, it's also prognostic because we can tell the patient, "Look, you know, we don't think your ovary response was good or that your embryo quality wasn't very good because the egg quality wasn't very good." So next time, if changing the protocol doesn't work, we might want to consider donor eggs.

This then becomes a well-informed decision based on valuable data, which only an IVF cycle can provide, but you're making well-informed decisions, and that's true for sperms as well, so for example, the only way of finding out if sperm are capable of fertilizing an egg is by actually doing IVF. Most patients don't know this, and most doctors won't tell you this, but the correlation between a semen analysis report sperm count, sperm motility with actual sperm fertilizing ability is very poor, which means you'll have men with low sperm counts whose sperms fertilize their wives' eggs in the lab, and conversely, there are people whose count looks perfect and whose motility looks good whose sperms don't this is why an IVF cycle can actually allow us to assess sperm fertilizing ability.

Lots of clinics don't want to take the risk of total fertilization failure, which is why they won't do IVF, and they'll straight away do exceed, which means we will definitely get fertilization but we won't be able to assess whether the sperms were capable of fertilizing the eggs or not, and that's sometimes a trade-off, and it's something you need to discuss with your doctor so you can make a well-informed decision. So please don't underestimate the power of an IVF cycle.

It maximizes your chance of having a baby. It also clearly tells you why perhaps you weren't getting into your bedroom pregnant for so many years, And equally importantly, it gives you much more valuable information as to what you can do for the future to maximize your chance of getting pregnant.

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