More about Test Tube Baby

Overview of Test Tube Baby Treatment

If you are wondering what is test tube baby, you should know that it means a baby who is conceived outside the body of a woman. A definition for test tube babies would be babies who are conceived in a lab through IVF or in vitro fertilization.

You can also understand test tube baby as an oversimplified term for the baby born via IVF. However, as the name suggests, test tubes babies were not conceived in a test tube for the first time but in a Petri dish.

A couple would be recommended trying having a test tube baby when they have been unsuccessfully trying from almost a year to have a baby. The test tube baby procedure is used in the following cases.

  • Blocked fallopian tubes
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Older patients who wish to have a child
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS
  • Premature ovarian failure
  • Low ovarian reserve
  • Endometriosis
  • Male infertility

Test Tube Baby Procedure

Test tube baby process is a complex one. The success rate of carrying the baby full term is higher than all the processes. The test tube baby cost is very expensive and it may take several cycles for a successful pregnancy. The steps are,

1. Production of eggs stimulated by hormone therapy

The woman is asked to take injectable hormones of gonadotrophins and GnRHa to promote the simultaneous growth as well as maturation of the ovarian follicles, prior to egg retrieval. The final maturation of eggs is done through injecting HCG 36 hours prior to egg collection.

2. Retrieval of eggs

The next step is to give the woman an anesthetic of a mild sedative so that she would not feel pain or any discomfort during egg retrieval. The retrieved eggs are then brought to the laboratory.

3. Sperm and Eggs are combined to allow fertilization

The eggs and sperm are mixed with each other in the Petri dish and are then placed inside an incubator for several days. The fertility specialist will check for fertilization signs and monitors the embryo growth during this period.

4. Embryo transfer

2-3 healthy embryos are transferred into the woman’s uterus using a fine catheter. To support and strengthen the uterine lining and boost the possibility of insemination, the woman is advised to administer HCG or progesterone daily.

Test Tube Baby Risks

Side Effects of Medication

During the treatment, several medications are given and some women may experience reactions to it. The side effects of IVF medications include,

  • Difficult breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hot flashes
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Enlargement of the ovaries
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bruising due to repeated daily injections

Multiple Births

There is an increased chance of having more than one babies when multiple embryos are transferred into the womb. Pregnancies with multiple fetuses may result in,

  • Significant increase in blood pressure of the mother
  • Low birth weight of babies
  • Preterm birth
  • Double the risk of the mother developing diabetes

Health Risks to the Mother

The drugs can cause OHSS or ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. This happens when ovaries respond to the gonadotropins significantly and result in the production of multiple eggs in the ovaries.

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