On an average, 16% of the world’s population gives birth while others struggle to conceive. This number is expected to go down with the rise of factors like low libido, birth control pills, unhealthy lifestyle, and others.
We live in a world fueled by science and technology. Without a doubt, science has fared well in the field of both male and female fertility. IVF, “In Vitro Fertilization,” is one of the most common and successful infertility treatments of modern times. Second, comes IUI, “Intrauterine Insemination,” which is also popular for its high success rate. Both IVF and IUI can be recommended to a patient, based on their causes of infertility, age, and overall health.
IVF – WORLD’S LEADING FERTILITY TREATMENT
What is IVF?
IVF is an assisted reproductive technology, which involves manually combining the retrieved egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo is then planted inside woman’s uterus via gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) and zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT).
How does IVF work?
Following is the timeline of IVF:
For a period of 8 to 14 days, precisely in the beginning of a menstrual cycle, the patient takes gonadotropin. It is a fertility drug that is responsible for stimulation of ovaries and results in the development of mature eggs. Another synthetic hormone, leuprolide or cetrorelix is taken to prevent releasing of eggs too early.
Every 2 to 3 days, regular testing of blood hormone levels and ovaries measurement is done via various testing, to monitor the development of follicles – eggs maturation sacks.
Once the follicles are deemed ready, a ‘trigger shot’ in the form of an injection is given to help the eggs mature to their full state.
To commence the IVF treatment, gathering eggs are one of the most prominent steps. The patient is then given an anesthetic to allow painless entry of ultrasound probe via the vagina. This searches and identifies ovaries inside the follicles. A needle is used to extract the eggs – 8 to 15 eggs are retrieved. Cramping and spotting for few days is natural, and most patients feel better after 2 days.
Development of Embryos
6 to 10-celled embryos are developed, three days after egg retrieval. Around 5th day, these embryos will start the formation of tissues and separation of baby and placenta.
Viable Embryo Selection
Embryologist will be responsible for the selection of one or more embryos that are fit for uterus placement. The remaining embryos are frozen and used for any future IVF cycles.
Plantation of Embryos
1 to 5 embryos are placed in the uterus, depending upon the doctor diagnosis. A thin tube is used for insertion through the cervix, where you might feel light cramping – anesthesia is usually not required at this stage.
If IVF works, the embryo plants continue to grow alongside uterus lines and will develop into a baby. This also increases the chances of multiple pregnancies and around 20% of IVF babies are twins and more.
The cost of IVF ranges from $12,000 to $17,000.
IUI – SIMPLY & QUICK WAY TO FERTILIZATION
What is IUI?
IUI is another popular fertility treatment that involves placing sperm directly inside the uterus, to trigger fertilization. The major goal of IUI is to enhance the number of sperms reaching fallopian tubes and eventually raising the chances of conceiving a baby. In simpler words, IUI gives the sperm a head start in their race to reach the egg for fertilization.
How does IUI work?
Following is the timeline for IUI treatment:
The ovaries start the production of eggs in a couple of ways for fertilization. A natural IUI cycle includes no use of fertility drugs, and an artificial IUI includes stimulation of egg production via fertility drug. Either way, the goal here is to get healthy eggs.
With an ovulation detection kit, one can easily pinpoint the ovulation period and the right time for insemination. When egg releases from the follicle, the kit shows a surge in luteinizing hormone, which indicated the time for insemination- it usually happens the next day.
The collected sperm samples are then ‘washed’ to separate the strongest from the weakest. Only the ones that can survive the process are used for injection.
A long thin tube is used to put the concentrated sperm directly into the uterus via the cervix. This is a painless process, but mild cramping may occur.
Within one or two weeks of artificial insemination, a pregnancy test can confirm the status of conceiving.
IUI is a less invasive and inexpensive procedure, which can cost up to $900.
IUI OR IVF: WHICH ONE IS FOR YOU?
Depending upon your condition, your doctor can suggest either IUI or IVF fertility treatment. Certain factors can help you make the right decision.
When should I try IUI?
- At least one unblocked fallopian tube
- Healthy ovulation, with or without fertility meds
- Good amount of healthy egg production
- Normal uterine cavity
It’s a great option for same sex-couples, couples with mild male or/and female-factor infertility, use of sperm donor, and minor cervical issues.
When should I try IVF?
- Over the age of 38 and looking for fertility options
- Both fallopian tubes are blocked
- Reduced number of healthy eggs
- Suffering from advanced endometriosis
- Severe male-factor infertility
- Looking for genetic screening
MACA ROOTS: WONDER HERB TO ENHANCE FERTILITY TREATMENTS
These fertility treatments are controlled by doctors and high-tech medical tools, but there is one natural component that can improve their success rate – maca roots. Originally from Andes of Peru, these cruciferous vegetables grow in the harshest farmlands in the world. It is the only food crop that can survive at such high altitudes. Dated 2000 years back, Native Peruvians used maca roots as food and medicine for fertility, sexual viability, energy, and vitality.
How does Maca works for fertility treatments?
Maca is a powerhouse of nutrients, containing over 31 different minerals and 69 phytonutrients. Maca is a nourishing food that can have key effect on both men and women hormones. It was first scientifically researched in 1961, and a compound known as glucosinolates was found. It can affect fertility in both men and women, and also supports thyroid and normal sexual functions.
Enhances hormonal balance
Maca raises estrogen and progesterone levels and increases the chances of getting pregnant. It also helps in hormonal balance, and without raising the levels above required, it can help achieve the perfect progesterone ratio for a healthy pregnancy.
Same is the case for men, as too much estrogen can cause erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, and lack of libido. Maca also balances the estrogen levels in men to maintain the highest sperm production and mobility rates.
Promotes normal sexual functions
It increases libido in both men and women while enhancing the sperm count, DHEA levels, and iron levels, which makes for a perfect fertilization process.
Works great with fertilization treatments
The primary goal of both IVF and IUI is fertilization. Consuming Maca roots can help aid the process and increase your chances of getting pregnant by balancing the hormones and increasing sperm production.
When should you take Maca roots?
It is suggested to take 4 pills every day, for at least 3 months prior for avail its natural benefits. For fertility treatments, you can take 2 or 4 Maca supplements every day prior to seven days of the start of the treatment. And continue to take it throughout the course, if suggested otherwise by your doctor. You can stop the consumption of Maca during pregnancy.
Dosage of 500-3000 mg per day is suggested for desired results and is best taken before 3 pm.
Maca is a herbal supplements that can influence the best qualities of IVF and IUI treatments and help your body move in the right direction of getting pregnant. Do your research, talk to your doctor, and pick the right fertility mode along with Maca supplements.