For some situations IVF may be suggested as the first-line treatment. In other cases, IVF is recommended only if simpler treatment fails. Here are some of the most common conditions for which IVF is typically recommended:
- Age related infertility. In normal reproductive life, a woman’s egg quality diminishes with age. In many cases, this can be overcome through the use of IVF alone or in conjunction with techniques such as Assisted Hatching and ICSI.
- Anovulation. The majority of patients who fail to ovulate (anovulation) will usually conceive using simpler treatments. However, those who require IVF are typically “high responders” to hormone therapy and have good outcomes.
- Unexplained infertility. Approximately one fifth of couples who struggle with infertility have no identifiable cause. IVF is often successful for many of these couples.
- Fallopian tube damage and tubal factors. The only options for treating significant tubal damage are surgical repair or bypassing the tubes with IVF.
- Male factor infertility. Since 1993, doctors have been able to achieve conception in the IVF lab with abnormal sperm by utilizing ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection). ICSI is often recommended if there is any suggestion of a sperm problem, if sperm are obtained surgically, or if there has been prior failure of fertilization.
- Endometriosis. Endometriosis may be effectively treated with a combination of surgery and medication. IVF is very effective as a second line of treatment if initial treatment is proven unsuccessful.
- Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Screening embryos prior to implantation may be appropriate for patients who are ‘carriers’ of genetic disease and for random or age-related chromosomal abnormalities that cause recurrent miscarriage or lack of success with IVF treatment.