Unfortunately for many prospective parents, biological difficulties can make it impossible to have a child by natural means, and this kind of fertility problem is on the rise throughout the world. Fortunately, however, the medical field as well as its technological capabilities has risen to the challenge of solving this complex problem using a number of innovative techniques. Among the most successful and popular of these is the process of in vitro fertilisation (often abbreviated to IVF). This procedure has proven highly effective in overcoming both male and female infertility issues, such as damaged or blocked fallopian tubes, severe endometriosis, severe male infertility, advanced age, decreased ovarian function, or other types of unexplained infertility.
Since Louise Brown was born in the UK as the first ‘test tube baby’ in 1978, thousands of women all over the world have experienced the joys of becoming a mother through the scientific miracle of the IVF procedure. The procedure’s popularity is largely due to its largely pain-free nature. This process begins with medical treatment during the first two to three days of a woman’s menstrual cycle, including hormone therapy that is designed to stimulate egg growth. These medications can be taken either orally or by easily self-injectable methods, and result in few side effects other than the potential for mild abdominal pain.
Throughout the preparation phase, the production of eggs is monitored using a combination of ultrasound and blood tests, while medication is also given to suppress ovulation until the appropriate time. This ensures that the eggs are in the optimal location for retrieval when this time comes. At the time of the procedure, which can be performed in any equipped procedure room, an anaesthetist will administer a sedative and remain on hand to ensure that the patient does not feel anything of the procedure. A fine needle with attached ultrasound is used to extract the eggs from the ovaries with minimal physical damage to the patient. The entire procedure generally lasts no more than two hours, and requires only a day of recovery in most cases.
A sperm sample is obtained at the same time as egg retrieval, and is used to fertilise the eggs shortly after this process is completed. The embryos are then allowed to develop for around three to five days in the laboratory before being implanted into the womb of the prospective mother. This process is also quick and pain-free, can be done in the consulting room of any gynaecologist, and involves the use of a very thin plastic tube to transfer the eggs to the uterus. Once implantation is complete, an ultrasound will be conducted and further medication administered to ensure successful acceptance of the embryo into the womb.
Cape Town is known for the excellence of its fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilisation, and is a top destination for medical tourists from all over the world. Medical Tourism SA specialises in facilitating just this kind of treatment for our clients, and is on hand before, during, and after the procedure to ensure that your medical visit to Cape Town is a happy and successful one.
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