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In Vitro Fertilization: A Brief Overview

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In Vitro Fertilization: A Brief Overview

Successfully performed for the first time nearly 40 years ago, in vitro fertilization has become an effective and widely used treatment for infertility. The procedure belongs to a group of treatments referred to as Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) and is considered the most effective choice within this group. IVF is an expensive and sophisticated process that is usually done after other infertility options, such as, infertility drugs or surgery, have failed.

The Process

Prior to starting the process, an evaluation is done to determine if an IVF is the most effective method for a given couple. This is done by assessing the medical condition and medical history of the potential patients. The process can begin in earnest once this determination has been made.

In vitro fertilization is a complex technique, which, in the absence of medical complications, consists of five steps. The process is started by attempting to increase the amount of eggs produced by the female within a single cycle. Once this is achieved, the mature eggs are removed. The eggs are then joined with specially prepared sperm in a laboratory. This is the point in the procedure where fertilization should occur. After a short period of time, the fertilized eggs are placed in the woman’s uterus. If the embryo becomes embedded in the uterine wall, the procedure has resulted in a viable pregnancy.

Choosing a Clinic

As with any medical procedure, the most important decision is often which medical clinic or practitioner to choose. Given the number of clinics available, there are currently 400 in operation across the United States, choosing the right clinic can appear to be an impossible task. However, there are ways to narrow the search. An OB/GYN will usually have some knowledge with regard to local fertility clinics and patients consider these professionals trustworthy. Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, are other viable sources of information. These sources have the added advantage of stemming from personal experience.

Unexpected Help

There are an enormous amount of questions that need to be asked during the process of finding the right clinic. What is the cost? What is the percentage of successful procedures in similar cases? What other treatments does the clinic offer? Since 1992 help with these questions has come from an unlikely source, the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The reports produced by the CDC address many of these questions. Being thorough is the key.

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