If your fallopian tubes are completely blocked, in vitro fertilization (IVF — the removal of eggs from your ovaries by a surgical procedure and fertilizing them with sperm in a Petri dish and then putting the embryos into the uterus) is not only the best way to become pregnant, it's the only way. (For much more information on getting pregnant with IVF, check out Fertility For Dummies by Jackie Meyers-Thompson and Sharon Perkins [Wiley].)
And if the tubes have partial closure, the risk of ectopic pregnancy also makes IVF the best way to go. Note: In some cases of severe endometriosis, the tubes may be open but the rest of the anatomy is so distorted that pregnancy may never happen without IVF.
If mild endometriosis seems to be your only problem and you've tried and tried to become pregnant but haven't been successful, your doctor may tell you IVF is the next step. Even though the exact reason for infertility isn't clear in this case, IVF may be the only way to achieve your goal.
Two unique advantages to IVF are
^ It may also help overcome poor egg quality by stimulating more than one follicle to grow to maturity.
^ Removing eggs from their follicles when they mature means that you're bypassing possible problems of LUF. (See the earlier section "Looking at luteinized unruptured follicle syndrome [LUF]" for more about LUF.)
This section looks more closely at IVF, how it helps you get pregnant, and its advantages and disadvantages so you can determine whether you want to take this step.
What's involved with IVF?
IVF is a complex process that can eat up your time, money, and sanity! Before you lose any of the three, you may want to know what IVF involves.
IVF includes the following steps:
1. Stimulation of your ovaries with high-powered hormonal drugs to help you produce more than one egg.
2. Removal of eggs directly from ovarian follicles through a minor procedure.
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Prior to planning pregnancy, you should learn more about the things involved in getting pregnant. It involves carrying a baby inside you for nine months, caring for a child for a number of years, and many more. Consider these things, so that you can properly assess if you are ready for pregnancy. Get all these very important tips about pregnancy that you need to know.