The answer to this question can only be given after you and your partner are evaluated for infertility.
Infertility is when you are unable to conceive even after having unprotected sexual intercourse for a year. Not every patient suffering from infertility needs IVF. Some of them might not be even good candidate to undergo IVF procedure.
When a couple comes with complaints of inability to conceive, a process of evaluation is undertaken. The consulting doctor takes the complete physical, sexual, medical, past and family history of both the partners.
A thorough physical examination of both the partners is done by the treating doctor. Some blood tests are done for detection of conditions which may affect conception. The female partner may have to undergo tests like USG, HSG, hysteroscopy and laparoscopy. The male partner has to undergo test like semen analysis, testicular biopsy. Genetic testing like karyotyping is done in both the partners.
IVF is never the first line of treatment for infertility. Hormonal medications are given either or both the partners according to the results of the evaluations and tests. In females, medications are given to help the woman ovulate on time; they are prescribed to males in order to produce sufficient quantity of sperms in their semen. Anti biotics are given if there is presence of infections. Correctable surgeries can be done to restore the reproductive function of the patient.
In spite of all these procedures if the couple is unable to conceive then the option of assisted reproductive techniques is advised by the treating doctors.
- Advanced age: many times the egg reserve decreases as the age of the female progresses, in this scenario she doesn’t have too many eggs to wait for a pregnancy to happen. Hence a more aggressive form of treatment which has more chances of achieving pregnancy like IVF can be chosen.
- Endometriosis: if a female is suffering from severe endometriosis, she is suggested to opt for IVF to have a pregnancy.
- Tubal pathology: if the fallopian tubes of a female are blocked or absent then the embryo cannot be formed in the tube. Hence in order to achieve a pregnancy, IVF technique is a good solution.
- Problems with ovulation: if a female has problem ovulating, like polycystic ovarian syndrome then she is suggested to undergo IVF procedure.
- Problems with the mucus: the cervical mucus in the some females sometimes has anti sperm properties, rendering them unable to conceive. In these patients IVF can result in a pregnancy.
- Auto immune disorder: if the patient is suffering from any auto immune disease, his/her own antibodies might end up killing the egg, sperm or the resulting embryo. In this scenario, IVF provides the solution.
- Low sperm count: if the male partner has a very low sperm count then, surgical sperm retrieval procedures are done to extract sperms and IVF is carried out.
- Low sperm motility: if the sperms are not motile enough, the fertilisation is done with the help of procedures like intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
- Low sperm quality: if the sperms are not of good quality, then a procedure called as intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI) is used to select superior sperms for the process of fertilization.
- Unexplained infertility: almost 20% of the infertile cases have unexplained reasons. In these, the IVF may help the couple to conceive.