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In Vitro Fertilization: Tests to be performed before you plan IVF | Health


Dealing with infertility as a couple can present a difficult road, leading to the exploration of assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization but as you begin this process, it is essential to do the necessary tests before undergoing IVF. We got an expert on board to offer thorough knowledge about the various tests required before IVF, addressing the needs of both men and women.

In Vitro Fertilization: Tests to be performed before you plan IVF (Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash)
In Vitro Fertilization: Tests to be performed before you plan IVF (Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Soumya Shetty, Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF in Mumbai’s Chembur, explained, “In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is an intricate assisted reproductive technology that provides optimism for individuals or couples facing difficulties conceiving naturally. The procedure commences with stimulating the ovaries to produce numerous eggs, which are then extracted through a minor surgical process. These eggs are later combined with sperm in a laboratory environment, leading to fertilization. Later, the embryos are monitored for five days to evaluate their quality. Subsequently, one or two good quality embryos are meticulously chosen and placed into the woman’s uterus with the expectation of successful implantation and pregnancy.”

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She elaborated, “If a patient is considering IVF as a potential solution for infertility or other personal reasons, it’s essential to recognize that it involves a lengthy, step-by-step process aimed at creating the safest possible environment and maximizing the chance of conception. Following a detailed consultation with a doctor, who will advise on the best course of action based on medical and genetic history, various tests will be conducted after the initial stage. IVF is most suitable for individuals facing issues such as advanced maternal age, damaged or blocked fallopian tubes, reduced ovarian function, endometriosis, uterine fibroids or polyps, male infertility, unexplained infertility, and those seeking donor sperm. The IVF tests are designed to eliminate the possibility of miscarriage, embryo abnormalities, or any infectious or disease-related factors that could impact the health and likelihood of a successful childbirth.”

According to her, following is the assessment for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF):

• Transvaginal ultrasound (TVS) at time of examination is a very valuable tool in deciding the further course of treatment. It provides a detailed examination of the ovary (number and size of the follicles) and uterus (shape, endometrial thickness and any abnormalities)

• Assessing hormone levels is essential for women, as it offers valuable information about ovarian function, egg quality, and ovarian reserve. This involves examining Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH), Estradiol, and Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH).

• Tubal Patency Test: HSG (Hysterosalpingography) is a specialized X-ray procedure that allows for a thorough assessment of the uterus and determination of whether the fallopian tubes are blocked or functioning properly. A contrast agent is introduced into the fallopian tubes through the uterus to facilitate clear visualization.

• Semen Evaluation: If a sperm sample is provided, it undergoes testing in a laboratory to assess factors such as shape, motility, and concentration. In cases where male infertility is identified, specialised options can be explored to enhance the chances of successful fertilization by selecting only the healthiest and most viable sperm for use in IVF.

• The prolactin test is crucial for assessing the hormone levels related to breast milk production and fertility. High levels of prolactin can hinder conception, so the test results help doctors determine the most appropriate treatment plan for each woman.

• Thyroid function: The levels of thyroid hormones, including TSH (Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone) free T3 and free T4, are examined to confirm that the thyroid is functioning within the desired parameters. An imbalance in thyroid function can have an impact on fertility.

• Screening for infectious diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis, Chlamydia, Rubella and Varicella is essential to safeguard the health of both the mother and the developing foetus.

• Basic blood tests like CBC, FBS, PPBS, S.Creatinine, blood grouping and urine routine to evaluate general well being of the patient.

• A mock embryo transfer is an optional procedure that provides valuable insights into the body’s response during an IVF cycle, helping doctors prepare for the actual embryo transfer.

• It may be advisable to consider genetic testing, such as karyotyping or carrier screening, to detect any genetic abnormalities that could affect the health of the future child.

It is essential to consult with your doctor about the necessary tests and provide your full medical and family history. Depending on the results, additional tests may be necessary. These tests are designed to maximise your chances of a successful IVF procedure.


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