IVF Research Report
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is a ‘test tube’ technique used for couples that are infertile and also women that decide to have a child through this process. The process of IVF starts with a course of hormonal therapy to stimulate the development of many follicles within the ovary. After this course has taken place, the follicles are collected as eggs and then fertilised in test tubes. Between two to five days in an incubator, the eggs that were fertilised create embryos, which a selected few are transferred into the vagina, up to the uterus. Other embryos are frozen in case of any failures with the first few embryos1. This process is shown in figure one. Figure 1: Process of IVF
Many drugs are used in the IVF treatment cycle and these drugs are very expensive. Lupron is the first drug that is usually used first in the cycle. Lupron is a drug that overstimulates the body’s production of certain hormones, which causes the production to shut down. In IVF this drug temporarily suspends ovarian hormones to produce7. Side effects of this drug are vaginal dryness and hot flashes. Gonadotropins are also a drug used in the cycle and it stimulates the development of multiple eggs to be retrieved. Side effects of this drug are bloating, nausea and fatigue. A final drug used in the cycle to help with the IVF treatment is Progesterone. This drug helps forming and maintaining pregnancy throughout the cycle. Progesterone can be injected either orally, intramuscularly or vaginally. Progesterone is very damaging. Blood clotting, heart disease and dementia are a few of the side effects that this drug has.
Figure 2: success rate
The success rate of IVF decreases once the patient exceeds 35 years of age, as figure 2 above shows. Before the age of 35, the success rate of IVF was calculated at 50% per cycle1. Women that are recommended to undertake IVF are women who have fallopian tube damage, women with severe endometriosis and also couples that have tried to have a baby naturally together but keep failing. Factors that can affect the outcome of IVF are; the age of the women undertaking the course, with a success rate of under 20% once a woman reaches the age of 30 is quite low. Another aspect affecting the outcome of IFV is the number of embryos transferred over; the more embryos inserted into the women’s uterus, than the higher chance of pregnancy, but also can cause multiple pregnancies. A final factor that can affect IVF outcome is the number of previous treatment cycles2. The more treatment cycles a woman has, the success rate decreases.
Implications of IVF for society have several factors. With single mothers requesting IVF, some of the fathers or sperm donors will not help with the funding of the child’s upbringing. With the child relying specifically on the mother for everything, this can put stress on both the child and the mother, with allowing visits from the donor; this can lead the...