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What is in vitro fertilization?

| Jan 18, 2019 | Alternative Reproduction |

Couples who are having difficulty conceiving a child in Connecticut may consider in vitro fertilization as an alternative reproduction method. According to the Mayo Clinic, in vitro fertilization involves joining egg and sperm outside the body in a laboratory and then implanting the fertilized embryo into either your uterus or that of a gestational carrier. If all goes well, you or the gestational carrier will carry the child to term and deliver a healthy baby. 

In vitro fertilization may be an option for a number of reproductive issues: 

  • Previous sterilization
  • Impaired sperm production or function
  • Abnormalities of the uterus, such as fibroids or endometriosis
  • Ovulation disorder
  • Fallopian tube blockage

If you decide to proceed with in vitro fertilization, you will need to decide whether to use your own eggs and sperm or obtain these from a donor. Depending on the cause of your infertility, using your own egg and sperm may not be an option. You may also choose a combination of your egg and a donor’s sperm, or your partner’s sperm and a donated egg. 

Assuming that you and your partner will use your own egg and sperm and you will carry the child, the process involves the following basic steps. First, you will receive medications to stimulate egg production and prepare the lining of your uterus. Then you will undergo a procedure in which your doctor will use a needle to retrieve the eggs. On the same day, your partner will provide a semen sample if possible, or your doctor can retrieve sperm directly from the testicles using needle aspiration. A few days after fertilization takes place, your doctor will then transfer one or more fertilized embryos into your uterus using a catheter, and you should find out of the procedure was successful within a couple of weeks. 

In vitro fertilization is not for everyone. It is expensive and involves health risks for mother and child alike.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.