Laser Assisted Hatching

Laser Assisted Hatching is a process where a low energy laser beam is used to break the outer layer of the Zona Pellucida (the outer layer or shell that surrounds an embryo). The main purpose of laser assisted hatching is to allow the embryo to hatch more easily from its outer layer or shell. All pregnancies must result in successful hatching, whether naturally occurring or as a result of any assisted hatching technique such as in-vitro fertilization to enable embryos to implant in the lining of the uterus for further fertilization process. The Zona plays an important vital role in fertilization process as only one sperm can perforate the Zona and fuse with the egg for successful fertilization. The laser used to break the outer layer shell of the embryo is non-contact which means that embryo is not in direct contact with laser. The opening of embryo is increased with the help of laser. The whole procedure is carried out with latest technologies thorough precision and delicacy which positively improves and ramps up pregnancy rates among women.

Laser Assisted hatching involves considerably less time and protects the embryo from toxic chemicals so that the potential effect of these factors reduces and the stress placed upon the embryo during the whole process. In some cases, outer layer of the Zona Pellucida is abnormally thick or hardened with the freezing and thawing process. The possibility of the embryo to attaching or implanting into the wall of the uterus directly depends on the less difficulty faced by the embryo during hatching. Pregnancy cannot successfully happen unless the embryo hatches and implants and Laser Assisted Hatching can play a vital role in achieving these essential steps.

At the SCI Healthcare and SCI IVF Hospital of New Delhi, laser assisted hatching is offered and recommended for frozen embryo transfers by Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour (one of the best gynecologists and infertility specialist based in Delhi).

Who is recommended for Laser Assisted Hatching?

Recent research showed that women who have undergone repeated unsuccessful IVF treatments can increase their chances of a successful pregnancy with Laser Assisted Hatching procedure. But Laser Assisted Hatching can be helpful for any patient and it is most likely to be best suited for women:

  • Who are older than 37 years of age thus produce eggs with a harder Zona Pellucida.
  • With a high Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) level early in their cycle.
  • Who have a tendency to produce a harder or thicker Zona Pellucida
  • Who have frozen embryo transfer
  • Who have poor embryo quality
  • Who have mild elevations in their day 3 FSH levels

Advantages of laser-assisted hatching

A Laser Assisted Hatching considered being the best to other forms of assisted hatching due to the below reasons:

  • Exact and fast control over drilling of the shell opening
  • Minimal handling of the embryo during the procedure
  • It is more safe procedure, with no negative effects on the embryo
  • Assisted hatching may be clinically useful in patients with a poor prognosis, including those with two failed IVF cycles and poor embryo quality and older women than 38 years of age. At SCI Healthcare and SCI IVF Hospital and Multi-specialty Center, your doctor can further guide you to see if assisted hatching may optimize your IVF outcome.

Why Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is performed

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is a new medical procedure to treat infertility or genetic problems. IVF help the couples with infertility who wants to have their own baby. It is recommended to try other fertility treatments first before going for IVF treatment, as it is very expensive and invasive.  If you decided to go for IVF treatment, you and your partner must try less invasive treatment options before attempting IVF; including taking fertility drugs to increase production of eggs or intrauterine insemination (it is a procedure in which sperm are transferred in uterus at the time of ovulation).  If parents run the risk of passing a genetic disorder on to their offspring, IVF can be helpful in such condition. A medical lab can test the embryos for genetic defects or abnormalities. After that, doctor only implants healthy embryos without genetic defects.

IVF considered as a primary treatment for women suffering from infertility over age of 40 years. It can be adopted if you have certain heath problems. IVF can be beneficiary, if you or your partner has:

Damage or blockage of fallopian tube:  If the fallopian tube get damaged or blocked, it become  difficult for an egg to be fertilized or for an embryo to travel to the uterus for further fertilization. 

Ovulation disorders: If ovulation is absent or infrequent, fewer eggs will be available for further fertilization. 

Premature ovarian failure: Before the age of 40 years, many women suffered from premature ovarian failure which is the loss of normal ovarian function. If your are suffering from premature ovarian failure, the ovary won’t produce normal amounts of the hormone estrogen or have eggs to release regularly. 

Endometriosis: Endometriosis arises when the uterine tissue implants and grows outside of the uterus. Endometriosis often affects the normal function of the fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus. 

Uterine fibroids: Many women in their 30s and 40s suffered from fibroids which is a benign tumor in the wall of the uterus. Fibroids can create problem with implantation of the fertilized egg. 

Impaired sperm function or production: Low-average sperm concentration, poor mobility of sperm (weak movement), or abnormalities in sperm quality, size and shape can make it difficult for sperm to fertilize an egg for further fertilization. If your partner is suffered from any of these semen abnormalities, he must need to see a specialist to determine if there are correctable problems or underlying health concerns for the further IVF procedure. 

Unexplained infertility:  No cause of infertility can also identified despite evaluation for common causes. 

Genetic disorder:  If you or your partner carries a risk of passing on a genetic disorder to your offspring, you may be recommended for having pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. It is a procedure that involves IVF. After the eggs are successfully harvested and fertilized, few tests can be performed to screen for certain genetic problems. Generally not all genetic problems can be found in these tests. The embryos that don’t show identified abnormalities of problems can be transferred to the uterus.

Click to know, Is IVF Painful?

Few Things Need to Know Before Eggs Freezing

Age is the major risk factor for health problems like the likelihood of chromosomal abnormalities in women. The risk of birth defects or disorders and the risk of miscarriage makes the things difficult for conceiving. Egg freezing is an alternate way to stop the natural biological clock of the body, expand reproductive chances and preserve the younger and possibly healthier eggs. Eggs freezing have become an increasingly attractive option for many women looking to extend their childbearing years. But few things need to know before going for eggs freezing:

Exact meaning of egg freezing: The process of egg-freezing or oocyte cryopreservation in medical language, involved stimulation of the ovaries with hormones to produce multiple eggs, the retrieved eggs are then sent to the lab where they are frozen unfertilized and stored to be thawed at a later date and combined with sperm in a lab and implanted in the uterus for further in vitro fertilization process.

Procedure of egg freezing: The process of retrieving eggs for further eggs freezing is similar to the first phase of in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The doctor will apply anesthesia and vaginal wall be a punctured from a needle. There is a possible risk for infection but the will reduce as far as surgical procedures move forward. To stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs, round of hormone injections given to the woman. For regular monitoring of ovaries by vaginal ultrasound, the stage involves multiple visits to the doctor, about five times in the interval of 10 days. The eggs are retrieved after a week of hormone treatments.The complete egg retrieval process takes about 10 minutes and is done under mild sedation or anesthesia. The doctor guides a needle through the vagina to the ovarian follicle which contains the eggs using an ultrasound. A suction device installed at the end of the needle removes the eggs from the follicles. Retrieving the eggs from ovary is technically similar to that of from getting blood drawn from the body where a needle goes into the ovary the eggs taken out gently.

Associate Risk of Egg Freezing : The complete surgical procedure is almost safe, but risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome or OHSS which create some heath related issues in some women may develop by the hormone shots. That mostly happens when a woman responds too aggressively to the hormones and the ovaries become painful and swollen. But in rare, OHSS increases the risk of blood clots and kidney failure that can be fatal.

Chances of having a baby with my freezing eggs: According to a survey conducted by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the chance that a single frozen egg will successfully lead to a pregnancy is about 12 percent.  For this reason, it is often recommended to have coupled dozen eggs frozen to maximize the success rate for having baby in later life. Although the success will directly depend on a number of factors like age of woman and the quality of the sperm of her partner.

Risks Associated with In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is a complex medical treatment used to treat infertility or genetic problems and help with the conception of a child. It is a type of assisted reproduction procedure in which a woman’s eggs and a man’s sperm are combined outside of the woman’s body in a laboratory dish. Then one or more fertilized eggs (embryos) directly transferred into the woman’s uterus. Pregnancy happens if any of the embryos implant in the uterine lining. In fact, serious health issues from IVF procedures and medicines are rare. However, there are some risks associated with this all medical treatments. The most common risks are discussed below.

Multiple pregnancies: If more than one embryo is implanted in your uterus, there is an increase risk of multiple pregnancies. There is a high risk of early labor and low birth weight if a pregnancy with multiple fetuses occurred, but there is a low risk if pregnancy occurred with a single fetus.

Psychological stress: IVF involves a significant financial, physical and emotional commitment on the part of a couple, specially if in vitro fertilization (IVF) is unsuccessful psychological stress and emotional problems are common. Support from family and friends or counselors may help the couple through the ups and downs of infertility treatment.

Very expensive:  IVF Procedure is expensive and most of the insurance companies do not provide coverage for fertility treatment. The cost for a single IVF cycle can cost from at least $12,000-$18,000.

Low birth weight and premature delivery:  It is suggested that use of IVF significantly increases the risk that a baby will be low birth weight or born early as expected.

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome: During the IVF procedure, to induce ovulation many injectable fertility drugs such as human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) are used which can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. Signs and symptoms of this treatment typically last a week and include pain, bloating, mild abdominal pain nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. In many pregnant women, the symptoms might last several weeks. There is a possibility to develop a more-severe form of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome that can increase the chances of shortness of breath or rapid weight gain.

Miscarriage: The rate of miscarriage is about 15 to 25 percent for women who conceive using IVF with fresh embryos is similar to that of women who conceive naturally, but this rate generally increases with maternal age. The risk of miscarriage increases with the use of frozen embryos during IVF procedure.

Egg-retrieval procedure complications: Use of an aspirating needle to collect eggs during IVF could possibly cause infection or damage to the bowel, bladder or a blood vessel or bleeding. If general anesthesia has been used, high risks will increase with the mother.

Birth defects: No matter how the child is conceived, the age of the mother is the main risk factor in the development of birth defects in the baby. More research is required to evaluate whether babies conceived using IVF might involved in increased risk of certain birth defects. Some experts suggest that the use of IVF does not increase the risk of having a baby with birth defects.

Irregular Menstrual Cycles and Female Infertility

Most women have regular cycles that range from 26 days to 32 days; where 28 days is the most common length. Some mild fluctuations in your cycle may occur, but generally, a regular cycle means a greater likelihood of getting pregnant through natural means. Problems with your cycle could result in various fertility issues.

Nowadays the fertility centres offer a whole host of infertility treatments designed to address female fertility problems. Following are some issues with female infertility, and some advice on dealing with irregular menstrual cycles.

Causes of Irregular Periods

Some possible causes of irregular menstrual cycles include:

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): This endocrine disorder that affects 8 percent of women can throw off hormone levels, resulting in irregular periods and anovulation.
  • Thyroid Imbalance: An overactive or underachieve thyroid gland means your hormone levels could be off, impacting your menstrual cycle.
  • Hyperprolactinemia: Prolactin is the hormone that stimulates milk production for breast feeding. Too much prolactin in your system can alter your regular cycle.
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI): Also known as premature ovarian failure (POF), POI is associated with a total lack of periods. This may result in menopause symptoms before the age of 40.
  • Obesity and Being Underweight: Obesity and being excessively underweight can both lead to hormone problems. Achieving a more ideal weight rather than being one of the two extremes can help bring hormone levels back to normal.

Tracking Your Cycle

If you are having trouble getting pregnant, consider tracking your cycle. Even if your periods are irregular, tracking your menstrual cycle will give you a good idea of what you are going through and what patterns keep repeating. There are many helpful online resources and apps that can make charting your period easier.After a few months, this data will be helpful to you, and it can also help your general practitioner or a fertility specialist when discussing issues related to fertility.

Discussing Issues with a Fertility Specialist

A fertility specialist will be able to go over your various concerns when it comes to your irregular menstrual cycles and difficulties become pregnant. During an exam. Today, gynecologists are able to discuss current medical concerns as well as long-term health issues that may be impacting your cycle. Charting your cycle can help with this process.

Possible Treatments for Irregular Periods

The treatments for irregular periods can vary a great deal. For issues with weight, simply losing weight or gaining weight can help keep your cycle more regular. Fertility drugs and medical procedures could be recommended to address hormonal imbalances. Sometimes a full fertility treatment such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or the services of an egg donor might be most ideal.

Contact to fertility specialist Dr. Shivani Sachdev Gour

For more information about overcoming infertility and improving your chances off starting a family, contact fertility specialists Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour in SCI International Hospital, Greater Kailash Part 1, Kailash Colony, Noida Sector 63, Delhi.

Female Infertility - Simple Tips to Increase It

Boost Sperm Count & Motility with Male Fertility Medications

Men’s fertility totally depends on the quantity and quality of sperm that he generates. It is man’s sperm quantity and quality that can make a woman pregnant or he will not be able to do it at all. As per the study, around one in every 20 men has fertility problems and it is mainly due to a low sperm count. A condition that is called as secondary hypogonadism, which affects around 2% of men, which makes them infertile.It is the only condition that mainly causes infertility in men and to treat it, he has to take fertility medication. Below mentioned are few male fertility medications that can be helpful to boost sperm count and motility.

  • A man who is suffering from infertility can take Clomiphene, which is one of the non-steroid medication that helps in boosting the production of pituitary hormones. It can also help in increasing the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and the luteinizing hormone (LH). Taking this medication can direct the testicles to secrete testosterone and produce healthy sperm.
  • The next is Gonadotrophins (hCG and hMG) that can stimulate the testes to produce testosterone and sperm. Popular brands like Pregnyl and Novarel comes with few medications that can assist the reproductive technologies.
  • Letrozole is another male fertility medication that can be used to treat sperm issues. Taking this drug can increase the testosterone levels in the body and bring up the sperm count.
  • There are synthetic testosterone pills, injections and even gels that can be used to boost the low levels of natural testosterone in the body. The gel form is said to be safer than the pill form. You can take transdermal testosterone applications.
  • Those males who are suffering from fertility problem can take bromocriptine. This can prevent the release of prolactin hormone in the body, which causes a reduction in testosterone levels. The medication is useful for men who have sperm impairment due to hyperparathyroidism.
  • Imipramine is another medication that is currently used for treating retrograde ejaculation. The drug reverts the abnormal ejaculation of sperm.

How Fertility Medications Work?

  • It can stimulate the hormone production by increasing testosterone.
  • The drugs can improve the semen production, making it healthy and independently moving semen
  • It can keep the blood sugar levels under control, thereby preventing infertility as well as diabetes.
  • Stimulate the blood flow in the genital area and restore the activity
  • The drugs can increase the libido and boost the sexual drive of the man

The Bottom Line

For those who are suffering from infertility need not worry about it because there are medications that can treat it. Besides, you need to follow a healthy lifestyle as well.

Choosing Between IUI and IVF

IVF and IUI are two different ways through which a woman gets pregnant. It entirely depends on the health of the couple as which treatment will be best suited for them. But the guidance of the doctor is very necessary in this concern as they will be able to guide you in a better way. They can tell you about both the options in detail, the results of the treatment and how useful can it be in your case. So all this really helps as couples find the right solution to their problem and are able to benefit from the same.

If you too are struggling between IVF and IUI, here is a little more information about both of them. So let us get started. 

IUI – This is the process wherein the male sperms are extracted and then inserted into the woman’s uterus for fertilization. Now this timing is very crucial. That is why the sperms are transferred during the ovulation only as the chances of getting pregnant are very high in this condition. The best thing about this process is that quality sperms are transferred into the body and therefore fertilization takes place properly. In case the male partner is not healthy enough, donors can be used for the sperms. In total you can say that it is a beneficial process and works well if the eggs are in good condition and quality sperms are inserted into the body. 

IVF – On the other hand, IVF is quite different from IUI. This is the process in which both eggs and sperms are allowed to fuse outside the body. The woman is given fertility drugs to boost the production of the eggs and the same is extracted and then fused in the Petri dish. The adequate atmosphere is created in the lab so that cell division takes place. When fertilization is done, the same is transferred into the uterus where it grows like a normal pregnancy. In this case both the male and female donors can be used in case the couple eggs and sperms are not healthy.

This is definitely a very good process and does wonders for infertile couples. Sometimes IVF and IUI can be alternate treatments for the couples depending on their physical health. Only correct diagnosis can help in this condition as which of the two treatments will be beneficial. It is your doctor or expert who can best tell you about the benefits of IVF and IUI. Based on their advice you can decide which one you feel makes a better option.

The ultimate motive of any couple is to have a baby and both these treatments are really good. IVF and IUI are really effective in treating infertility and that is why couples wish to give it a try at least once. So what are you waiting for, if you are unable to conceive due to one or more reasons it is high time to consult a good specialist who can tell you which option is a better one. Hope the decision proves helpful to you.

After The IVF: Success Tips By Dr. Shivani Sachdev Gour

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A Heart Touching Thankyou Card for Dr Shivani Gour & SCI IVF Centre

Can you read the handwriting on the card. This is a thank you card from an almost 4 year old for her baby brother born after IVF at Our Clinic SCI IVF Centre. One of our most adorable cards! To read more reviews, visit- http://drshivanisachdevgourdelhi.blogspot.in/

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thankyou card for sci team

 

sci ivf team celebrating successful treatment

Dr Denis Mukwege Invited to Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour at His Infertility Clinic in Africa

Congratulations for the Nobel Prize to Dr Denis Mukwege. It was a great honour to be invited by him for the Infertility clinic in his hospital in DR Congo. Hillary Clinton Foundation was supporting the endeavor of his hospital for Gynaecological treatment of women who were war survivors in Africa.

DR shivani with dr Denis

DR shivani with dr Denis team

DR shivani with dr Denis staff

DR shivani with dr Denis teams

The Most Asked Questions about IVF Treatment

Many people who are unable to conceive on their own or are struggling any fertility issues are provided with the option of IVF Treatment. Though this process is quite common and many people have successfully got the blessing of a child through IVF, there are many questions that people have regarding this treatment.

1. What is IVF?
In-Vitro Fertility Treatment is the process in which the egg and sperm are fused together, outside of the body and into a glass vial. After a few days, when the embryo has been formed, it is then placed back into the woman’s womb. This treatment enables the people struggling with infertility to conceive.

2. When should a person make an appointment for the IVF Treatment?
If a couple is unable to conceive a child for more than a year, even without using any sort of contraception, then they can try for the IVF Treatment. Anyone struggling with any sort of fertility issue can try for the IVF.

3. For how many times, a couple can try the IVF treatment?
There is no such limit on how much time a person can try for the IVF, but it should be kept in mind that each IVF Treatment reduces the possibility of pregnancy. Though most of the IVF treatments are successful, it still might not work and that will be waste of time, money and emotions.

4. Is IVF treatment very costly?
Tough the cost of IVF varies from clinic to clinic, the average cost of IVF treatment lies between 1,00,000 to 3,00,000. Yes, some people might consider it as costly, but it is well worth it.

5. What are the basic side effects of IVF?
Some of the side effects of the IVF treatment are bloating, shortness of breath, mood swings, nausea, faintness, a little bleeding, cramping, weight gain, cramps etc. These are the normal symptoms that a woman feels over the pregnancy. But normally as the embryo is formed within the body, the body gets used to these symptoms. But in IVF, the embryo is placed within the woman’s womb after it has been formed, the body takes a bit of time to accommodate to the sudden change and hence these normal symptoms are felt twice as much as in the normal pregnancy.

6. Does IVF increase the chance of giving birth to twins or triplets?
As the chance of a single embryo getting successfully implanted in the uterus is not very great, and also because they can’t afford multiple IVF cycles, many women ask their doctors to try to implant multiple embryos in a single IVF cycle. This increase the chances of at least one embryo getting implanted and also, in some cases, leads to the birth of twins and triplets.

7. How to select a good IVF clinic?
Though there are many expensive IVF clinics around, one must always do a thorough research before deciding to go with the one. You should check the success rate of the clinic and also the qualifications and practice of the doctor. You must also check the previous patient’s experiences and reviews.

8. How much time does it take to implement IVF?
An IVF cycle normally takes about 6-8 week to implement. The cycle starts with the consultation and ends after the implantation of the embryo is done in the woman’s body.

We hope we have covered the questions going around in your mind regarding the IVF treatment and were able to answer your doubts.

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