"In Vitro Fertilization" and women's health - ENN 2017-11-03 Learn about the risks and benefits of in vitro fertilization and how it can impact your health.

“In Vitro Fertilization” and women’s health – ENN 2017-11-03

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process by which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body. The ovaries are stimulated with hormones so that multiple eggs mature and are collected. The eggs are then mixed with sperm in a laboratory, and one or more embryos are placed in the uterus. IVF is used to treat infertility in women who have problems with their ovaries, Fallopian tubes, or uterus. It may also be used to help couples who have unexplained infertility, or who have a genetic disorder. IVF is a complex and expensive procedure, and it is not always successful. The success rate for IVF depends on many factors, including the woman’s age, the cause of infertility, and the number of embryos implanted. IVF can cause side effects, including hot flashes, headaches, mood swings, and bloating. It can also lead to multiple births, which can cause health problems for the mother and the babies. IVF is not right for everyone, and it is important to talk to your doctor about all of your options before you decide to undergo the procedure.

IVF expert Jennifer Lahl, a policy expert who also was a pediatric emergency nurse, explains the short-term and long-term health risks women face when they donate eggs for fertilization. It’s an important question: In the U.S. today there are more than 750,000 frozen embryos.