Improving Egg Quality
The process to conceive a child via IVF can fail if the egg quality of the patient is low. To improve on egg quality, it is vital to change one?s diet and nutrition. Low-levels of vitamins and essential nutrients in the body can cause a decline in the quality or quantity of eggs. An increased intake of vegetables that are super antioxidants, frozen fruits, fish oils and lots of water can be the best way to improve egg quality. An egg needs vitamin E, especially for the outer shell as it assists with fertilization, and zinc which will repair any damage to the egg and aids in the overall fertilization process. Vitamin B-12 helps folic acid function better; folic acid reinforces the inner part of the egg. Your GP could also prescribe supplements for a patient to take, such as 600mg of R+ Alpha Lipoic Acid.
What is IVF?
In vitro fertilisation is the process in which a woman’s eggs are extracted and fertilized with sperm outside of her body in a test tube. IVF can also be done using egg donations from another patient but the sperm of the partner. Egg donation is usually undertaken when one cannot produce enough eggs of the right quality and requires the eggs of another woman to conceive. The process of IVF can be very costly, and is mainly attempted as a last resort when other cheaper options have been exhausted.
Procedures Involved in IVF
In general, the main procedure of IVF involves extracting the egg from the patient and mixing it with semen outside of the body. After successful fertilisation has occurred the embryo is inserted back into the womb in the hope that it will properly imbed in the uterus wall. The egg is retrieved from follicles in the ovaries which are monitored closely until they have produced an egg. It takes up to 18 hours for a sperm and an egg to fertilize after which the embryo is cultured until they reach 6 to 8 cell stage. Labs have developed ways in which they can judge the quality of embryo’s so as to optimize on the chances of success once they are implanted.
Success Rates of IVF
Healthy ova, sperm and a uterus that can maintain a pregnancy are all factors that contribute to the success of IVF. Increasing the number of embryos inserted into the patient’s uterus can also increase the chances of success but also the risk of multiple pregancies. The quality of the egg is one of the main factors that can increase the success rate and the percentage rates of success using IVF are 20 to 30%. Women above the age of 40 are encouraged to use donor eggs rather than their own due to the decreasing quality of eggs at this age and using donor eggs would increase the chances of them conceiving a child.