In Vitro Fertilization: What you need to know
In vitro fertilization is one of the most sought after fertility treatments in the market. But how exactly does it work, and how much does it cost?
Infertility is one of the haunting problems that can befall any couple who wishes to have a child. Fortunately, there are now ways for infertility to be addressed, thanks to the constant advancement of science. And one of the fertility treatments that have been in use in developed countries, in vitro fertilization, is now locally available for Filipino couples who wish to conceive when natural means is not an option anymore.
In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a fertility treatment that literally means fertilization done outside the body, where an egg is extracted from a woman’s ovaries and injected with a man’s sperm.
How does in vitro fertilization work?
The process of in vitro fertilization could last for weeks, depending on the rate of laboratory success. Upon the initial evaluation done by a fertility specialist, the woman is first prescribed with fertility drugs to help her ovaries produce more mature eggs (naturally, only one egg is produced during ovulation).
When the ovary is ripe with eggs, these are ‘harvested’ and injected with the man’s sperm, after which, the eggs are preserved in a controlled environment until (crossing fingers) fertilization occurs. If successful, the fertilized egg (or eggs) is injected back to the woman’s uterus through an outpatient surgery procedure. When the egg attaches itself to the uterus’ lining means the bun is successfully in the oven!
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What are the risks of in vitro fertilization?
Like any artificially treated fertility, in vitro fertilization may pose risks to both the mother and the baby. By taking fertility drugs, the probability of multiple births is highly possible (which can actually be good news to those who want more than one baby in a single go!). But having multiple births may also result in premature or low birth weight, sometimes even birth defects for the baby.
Ectopic pregnancy is also a complication that could happen. When doing in vitro fertilization, make sure to enlist the services of highly trained medical professionals and specialists to avoid any high risk complications that can put you or your baby’s health at risk.
How much is in vitro fertilization offered in the Philippines?
For couples who wish to try this assisted fertility treatment, be ready to shell out a fortune as in vitro fertilization doesn’t come cheap. In St. Luke’s Medical Center-BGC’s Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine and Infertility (CARMI), the cost for in vitro fertilization ranges from Php 250,000 to Php 300,000.
This should be enough to cover consultation, fertility medication, lab works, and professional fees.
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Are there cheaper options to in vitro fertilization?
Yes, there are other alternative fertility treatments that may be more affordable than in vitro fertilization. One is artificial insemination or intrauterine insemination (IUI), where sperm is directly injected into the woman’s uterus, fallopian tubes or cervix. This treatment is available in most hospitals and fertility centers, and considerably more affordable than in vitro fertilization.
In a ‘macho’ society like ours that doesn’t tolerate these kinds of issues lightly, mainly due to lack of information, infertility is left to be discussed only in hushed tones, swept under the rug, or simply ignored. But with the help of science, treatments like in vitro fertilization have proven to be a miracle worker for couples to achieve their dream of bearing and having their own child.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ANGELA VERA
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