What is a Test Tube Baby?
Test tube baby is the baby who gets developed from egg, removed from the mother’s body and then fertilized and then placed inside the mother’s womb so that it continues to grow. The test-tube baby is a child who is outside the body of a woman. A scientific operation called In-Vitro-Fertilisation is conducted in a laboratory to conceive a test tube baby.
What is test tube baby treatment?
In the organic procedure, the sperm penetrates inside the vagina of a woman, where the matured eggs start fertilizing inside the body, and then pregnancy takes place. Sometimes problems arise with infertility in men or women or both couples, and you require fertility treatment. Usually, the process starts with medication for two to three weeks so that the natural menstrual cycle in a woman stops.
The doctor conducts a surgery known as egg retrieval. In this surgery, the eggs that become mature and ready for fertilization is removed from the body. A thin needle is then inserted inside the ovary through sucking, and at least 15 eggs are collected. All the eggs are then kept in a glass tube in an environmentally controlled chamber by the specialist. The egg is fused with the sperm (taken from fertile instead of a donor).
For a few weeks, this method is observed, and then one or two of the best embryos are selected for transfer. Then, the transfer of the embryo is conducted in which more than one may be placed inside the womb. The embryos penetrate inside the womb through the vagina, and when any one of them gets stick to the lining of the womb, a healthy and successful pregnancy happens through ‘test-tube baby treatment’.
At what time and for what reason do you need test tube baby treatment?
With the passing phase of time, the infertility rate is increasing. There are so many reasons for infertility like hormone-related problems, structural problems, poor diet, stress, etc. The issue of infertility can happen with both men and women. If infertility arises, then people take the opportunity of test tube baby treatment, which is usually known as IVF and called In Vitro Fertilization.
Some of the reasons behind the requirement for Test Tube Baby Treatment are as follows:
- Due to the removal of ectopic pregnancy, the tube gets blocked, or infection happens.
- Some women need test tube babies due to their decreased ovarian reserve.
- Age factor is also considered as a problem. After attaining the age of 38, women face the problem of conceiving naturally, so they choose the option of test tube baby treatment.
- It is found that 10% of couples undergo the problem of infertility. And even the reason is not detectable.
- When numerous follicles grow with the specific stimulation protocol.
- Some couples have trouble conceiving even after 6-8 cycles of IUI or even after the development and timely rupture of the follicle
Pros and cons of test-tube baby
Whenever a couple decides to conceive a baby through the test tube treatment, which is also known as In-vitro fertilization (IVF), they constantly research the pros and cons of IVF. Some of the pros and cons related to the test tube baby treatment are defined below.
- It is analyzed and observed that sometimes children conceived through IVF do not suffer from health problems than children conceived through natural and standard delivery.
- Most of the time, the IVF treatment is effective as the ova and sperm of infertile couples will always unite. The challenge depends on the implantation process. So every couple must choose a trusted and popular IVF center.
- There are people who want to have a baby but have trouble conceiving as infertile or face some medical issues. They adopt this advanced treatment, and they can give birth to a baby.
- If there is a problem in the male and they come to know that the sperm count is low, they can still search for a donor who can help them make the process successful.
- People can have their baby through the means of test-tube baby treatment instead of adopting a child from others.
- The implantation process is very complex and critical, so there is no guarantee that it will be successful.
- The process requires a lot of dedication and patience to go through the medication phase, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer phase; it a very time-consuming process.
- This process is costly, so you should depend on the best doctors.
- As in the process, the transfer of multiple embryos to the uterus may lead to chances of having a complication, and there are increased chances of having twins or triplets.
- Complications like Ectopic pregnancy may arise when the embryo attaches itself outside the uterus. The women can face severe abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding.
Process of test tube baby treatment
In vitro fertilization is a form of assisted pregnancy for those who might not conceive naturally. During the monthly ovulation cycle, one of the ovaries discharges an egg. The egg penetrates inside the fallopian tube after ovulation. There are chances of a woman getting pregnant if she goes through intercourse just before, during, or after ovulation. During this time, a sperm cell from man semen can fertilize the egg while inside the fallopian tube.
As it travels through the fallopian tube, the fertilized egg or the embryo loses its outer shell that nourished it during an ovary. It enters the uterus and loses the protective outer layer called zona pellucid. The embryo gets embedded into the uterus’s lining in a zona hatching process; this establishes a perpetual connection between the woman and the embryo. This lining forms an organ called the placenta, which allows the passing of oxygen and nutrients from the woman to the embryo, and the pregnancy continues.
Infertility, single parenthood, etc., are the circumstances wherein Vitro fertilization (IVF) is executed. The woman should go through the mediation process before IVF to grow and mature more than one egg. A semen sample is required from the man so that the healthiest sperms can be collected to enhance pregnancy. In case the male partner is sterile, or the woman doesn’t have a partner, donor semen is used. IVF involves three main processes:
- Follicle Aspiration- In this process, the eggs are harvested from the ovaries using a suction device connected to a needle. The needle penetrates the vagina and the ovary to collect several eggs at a time.
- Fertilization- In this process, the eggs are placed in a petri dish and artificially inseminated using the enriched and processed sperms from the semen collected. Eggs are combined with sperm, or a single sperm is injected into the egg.
The second process is called Intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Embryos are then monitored for 3 to 5 days in a lab. Sometimes, the lab may create Zona Pellucid around some of the embryos. This supported hatching helps embryos to get embedded into the uterus.
Embryo Transfer: The fertilized eggs are transferred to the uterus. Hormone therapy is done to help embryos get implanted. Some embryos are transferred at that time, and some are frozen for future purposes. A tool naming speculum is placed inside the vagina to make sure that the cervix is observable. The fluid that contains the embryos is captured into a syringe. The syringe is attached to a long catheter which is then inserted into the uterus via the cervix. The woman is required to rest on her back for the next 15 minutes.
SUCCESS OF TEST TUBE BABY TREATMENT
The success rate of test tube baby treatment depends on the age of the woman. If the woman is under the age of 30, then are better chances of survival. This treatment involves a meager rate of success. Even a young and fertile couple has a mere 15-20% chance to conceive naturally. Women with high IVF success chances have per-cycle success rates of 40% or higher, while most women have a per-cycle success rate of 20-35%.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IVF AND TEST TUBE BABY
IVF and test tube baby are two different terms, but they have the same meaning. The term test tube baby was used traditionally and is a non-medical term. IVF, that is, in vitro fertilization, is a medical term used in the modern period. The term test tube baby originated from an embryo’s basic idea in a test tube instead of the woman’s fallopian tube. The in vitro fertilization term is used because the egg and the sperm are fertilized in a petri dish with a glass culture dish. In-vitro means inside the living body.
Antara Chowdhury is a Content Marketer and Strategist with 6 years of experience. She is Master degree holder in Journalism and wants to explore everything she can write on.