Information & Treatment of Infertility in Vancouver Canada
IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) versus Natural Conception
Are fertility drugs used during IVF?Fertility drugs promote the growth of more ovarian follicles than would occur naturally. They also mature more follicles, thus increasing the chances of retrieval of more eggs and the possibility of more fertilized embryos.
Naturally about 15% of embryos that reach the uterus survive. Through IVF that number drops to 10%. This is the reason multiple embryos are transfered. This number rises dramatically when the mother that is recieving the embryos was not the woman that underwent the fertility drug treatments. The woman recieving prepares only for the proper environment for optimum implantion through hormonal therapy. This shows how important the endometrial condition must be.
Is there a greater chance of a multiple pregnancy with IVF?The more embryos transferred the greater the potential of more fetuses. Embryo quality plays a role here also, which is obviously directly effected by egg quality. The older the woman, the less the chance is of multiple pregnancies.
Triplets in women over the age of 40 is quite rare. Women under 35 have twice as high a rate of a multiple pregnancy as compared to women over 40.
How are eggs retrieved from the ovaries?The surgeon sucks them out of the ovaries through a long needle in a process known as egg retieval. The doctor watches on an ultrasound screen while the needle is inserted into the follicles through the vagina.
The eggs are then sent to the lab to be fertilized.
Can a woman undergo IVF if she has blocked or damaged fallopian tubes?Yes. The eggs are retrieved directly from the ovaries, therefore the fallopian tubes are completely bypassed. Then the fertilized embryos are transferred directly into the uterus via the vagina.
How does fertilization occur?IVF makes things very simple for the sperm. It eliminates the hostile environment of the vagina. This is perfect when there are issues of sperm count or function.
IVF also eliminates the worry of a lack of cervical secretions needed for ease of transport and capacitation of the sperm.
The lab unites sperm and egg after partial capacitation and grows them for 3-5 days to a blastocyst stage of development in preparation for transfer.
What about antibody, allergic, or immune responses to the embryo?Over time, after repeat exposure, the woman may build antibodies to their partners sperm. Sometimes men even develop antibodies to their own sperm.
IVF lowers chances of attack on the sperm by avoiding the female reproductive tract. Our embryos do not have an immunological blueprint for the body to develop antibodies towards.
Are abnormalities more likely to occur with IVF?The embryo is less developed at the time of transfer than it normally would be when it reaches the uterus.
There is also more of a chance of a luteal phase (second half of cycle, post-ovulation) defect when a woman has been treated with hormones to create the environment for implanation.
For these reasons it is said that for an IVF embryo to survive, it must be a very healthy one.
Studies say that there is no more chance of abnormalities through an IVF conception than there would be through the natural process.
Also, couples undergoing IVF are usually under constant watch during their pregnancy, therefore abnormalities have more of a chance of being detected early.
Some of the routine tests that may find these abnormalities are chorionic villus sampling, amniocentesis, and blood testing for alphafeto protein.
Also, statisically more girls are born through IVF than are boys. Natuures bias combined with the stronger female fetuses is the reasons for this.
How much do we have to tell the IVF clinic about our private life?The emotional investment into IVF can be quite large. The baring of a couples deepest secrets and fears, details about their sex life, and much more is needed to properly assess the situation at hand.
Being physically and emotionally manipulated is a difficult part of IVF.
Also, IVF is very expensive. This puts major stress on the couple on top of everything else.
Treatment of Infertility & IVF Support with Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in Vancouver
Dr. Spence Pentland, Dr. TCM, R.Ac, FABORM
Dr. Spence Pentland is a provincially licenced Doctor with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners and Acupuncturists of BC,
& a Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (click on letter credentials for more info).
His clinical practice in Vancouver has focused on the treatment of men's and women's reproductive health issues since 2004,
helping hundreds realize their dream of having happy healthy families.
Click below to learn more about
1. Dr. Spence Pentland's Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Treatment of Infertility in Vancouver
2. The IVF Acupuncture Group - a team of doctors specializing in providing quality, evidence-based acupuncture services for patients undergoing IVF in Greater Vancouver
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