IVF (in vitro fertilization) is one of the most common ways to overcome infertility in Nigeria and many parts of the world. Other fertility options include; hormone treatment, fertility medication, surgeries and antibiotics to treat infections in the reproductive organ, artificial insemination technique (AIT), and many others.
Infertility stands between couples and their ability to bear children. Medication and surgery are the most common means to treat infertility but some couples opt for in vitro fertilization to treat infertility.
In vitro fertilization is a test tube method of fertilization which entails the fusion of the sperm and the ovum outside the woman’s body. The fusion and fertilization are done in a test tube. Couples who want to undergo an IVF treatment should be aware of the serious procedures that the treatment entails.
The fertilization process includes continuous monitoring of the female reproductive organ. The ova (fertilized eggs) are removed from the ovaries and taken to a laboratory for them to be fertilized by sperm.
Before you start an IVF process in Nigeria, there are some important things that you should note. Preparation is key, this includes preparing your body and mind for the process. The couple are encouraged to undergo the following tests before the commence an IVF process;
- Semen Analysis (for the male)
- Ovarian testing (for the female)
- Infection or disease screening
- Uterine examination.
In most cases, in preparation for an IVF procedure, clinics ensure that the couple undergoes a mock embryo transfer to ensure that all things are in order for the in vitro fertilization to take place.
Risks of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IVF is an effective treatment for infertility that has recorded a number of successes overtime. Despite that IVF is an effective treatment for fertility issues, it has some drawbacks. Typically, IVF involves complex processes and these processes might take a while.
Due to the risks associated with IVF as a treatment for infertility, it is important that couples know what they should expect before they begin the treatment. The common risks of IVF are outlined below;
- Multiple pregnancy and multiple births
This is one of the dark sides of IVF. Multiple pregnancies occur if more than one embryo is transferred into the woman’s uterus during the fertilization procedure. This, in turn, results in multiple births that come with greater risks than a single pregnancy.
- Risk of miscarriage
Just like women that conceive through natural means, women that conceive through an IVF treatment are also exposed to the risk of miscarriage, especially if the woman is not in her early or middle age.
- Extrauterine pregnancy
This is a situation in which the embryo grows outside the uterus, it is a complication in pregnancy that is not only limited to women that do IVF procedures. However, only a small percentage of women who use IVF experience extrauterine pregnancy, this is also called ectopic pregnancy. Once this complication occurs, the pregnancy must be discontinued, due to the fact that fertilized eggs or embryos do not survive outside the uterus.
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- Birth Defects
This is a situation in which the baby is born with an abnormality. In a few cases, babies born with IVF might have birth defects. There is also a tendency that the baby will be born prematurely and have a low weight at birth.
Aside from the risks listed above, IVF treatment in Nigeria is quite expensive and takes a lot of time. The procedure itself costs a lot of money, so also, the hormone treatments that the couple undergo before the start of the process.
Top IVF clinics in Nigeria are;