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George And Amal Clooney Expecting Twins Thanks To IVF: Here's The Science Behind In Vitro Fertilization

29 January 2017, 5:30 pm EST By Athena Chan Tech Times
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George and Amal Clooney are reportedly expecting twins and its thanks to In Vitro Fertilization. George, who was never high on the topic of having kids, is said to be very excited especially after learning that the twins will be a girl and a boy. The couple was initially unsuccessful in their attempts to conceive last summer, which is why they turned to science to help them complete their family.

What is In Vitro Fertilization?

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that involves manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish and transferring the fertilized egg to the woman's uterus. The process is usually done by couple with infertility issues of various sorts such as blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, decreased sperm count or any unexplained infertility.

Success rates of the procedure depend on various factors such as the couple's family history, age and lifestyle factors. Further, the chances of live births from the procedure are higher at around 41 percent for women under 35 years of age as compared to the 13 to 18 percent rate for women over the age of 40.

The process does not come cheap starting at $12,000, but many have fulfilled their dreams of being parents thanks to this procedure. Some names among the ranks of parents who successfully underwent the procedure are Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Nicole Kidman.

Side Effects and Risks of IVF

For one thing, IVF increases the chances of a multiple pregnancy just like in the case of George and Amal Clooney. The process takes serious commitment on the part of the couple especially with the side effects attributed to the different stages of the procedure.

The fertility medication for the procedure may have various side effects such as mood swings, nausea, headaches and abdominal pain. In more serious cases, bloating, shortness of breath, stomach pains and sudden weight gain of up to ten pounds in a matter of days can be experienced. Further, as the procedure can be quite invasive, cramping, bleeding and infection can be expected. However, a doctor should be called immediately in cases of severe pelvic pain, heavy bleeding, fever and blood in the urine.

The Basic Steps To an IVF Treatment

Five steps are taken to complete an IVF Treatment and it all begins once the menstrual cycle has been successfully suppressed.

Step One

Once the menstrual cycle has been suppressed, fertility medications will be prescribed to increase egg cell production as multiple eggs are preferred for higher chances of success.

Step Two

The eggs are retrieved through a minor surgical procedure that entails guiding a hollow needle through the pelvic cavity. Medication is given to reduce any possible pain or discomfort.

Step Three

The male provides a sperm sample which is then prepared to be combined with the harvested egg.

Step Four

The sperm and egg are combined together and stored in a laboratory to induce fertilization.

Step Five

The fertilized egg is inserted into the woman's uterus via a catheter or a tube, ready for implantation along the uterine walls.

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