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The 'test-tube' baby technique which is original is called IVF. For the treatment of women with damaged fallopian tubes it was developed more than 30 years ago and today, this remains an important reason for treatment.

How does IVF work?

With a course of hormone therapy, all IVF treatments begin for the development of several follicles in the ovary and to stimulate it. To create several embryos, these are collected as eggs which in a test-tube ('in vitro') are then fertilised. Afterwards between two and five days in an incubator, where implantation occurs and pregnancy begins, are transferred one or two of these embryos through the vagina to the uterus. However, not every embryo implant becomes a pregnancy in IVF as in natural conception, which is why surplus embryos are frozen – so that if the first one fails a subsequent transfer might be tried. An essential part of every clinic's IVF programme is now freezing.

What Single Embryo Transfer?

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There has been a determined effort in recent years because associated with multiple pregnancy is the transfer of two or more embryos to cut this multiple rate by freezing the remainder and transferring just one. Single embryo transfer in patients is encouraged with a good chance of success.

What are the Side Effects?

Multiple pregnancies are the 'side effect' most widely reported associated with IVF. There is also very small risks that over-react to the hormone drugs used to stimulate the ovaries will some women (1-2%), to ensure that any over-reaction is foreseen and any risk avoided hormone and ultrasound monitoring during this drug treatment phase is usually carried out. Egg collection is often performed with a local anaesthetic and can be uncomfortable.

How much is the Success Rates?

Once patients reach the age of 35 or so, success rates in IVF decline, as with other type of fertility treatment. The potential for success with IVF treatment is the same for up to four cycles, the studies show that. Generally, the live birth rate for women under age 35 it is 30 to 35%, for women between the ages of 35 and 37 it is 25%, for women between the ages of 38 and 40 it is 15 to 20% and for women after age 40 it is 6 to 10%.

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