In vitro fertilization is a process that involves monitoring and stimulating ovaries, removing an ovum or ova from their ovaries, fertilizing the ovaries in a laboratory, and finally placing the fertilized egg in the uterus. During the process, some propofol-based anesthesia—not general anesthesia, but rather an intravenous sedation medication— will be used to reduce stress and pain.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures are usually performed on an outpatient basis under day care surgery units. Oocyte retrieval is the fundamental step during the entire procedure. Anesthesia during IVF is generally required during oocyte retrieval.
The sensation of every individual experiences in a different manner but in general Oocyte retrieval is defined as stressful and painful. During the process getting anesthesia to reduce the pain mostly makes the individual feeling anxious. The studies show that stress increases in serum prolactin levels. An increase in serum prolactin levels negatively affects IVF outcomes. It is important for the individual to know that the anesthesia used will not interfere with oocyte fertilization or early embryo development and implantation.
The ideal anesthetic technique for IVF should provide good surgical anesthesia with minimal side effects, a short recovery time, a high rate of a successful pregnancy, and the shortest required duration of exposure.
Types of Anesthesia
There are different types of anesthetics that may be used for your treatment or surgery.
The decision as to which type of anesthesia will be used depends upon the type of treatment or surgery you are scheduled for. In all types of anesthesia, the procedure is performed by an anesthesiologist, and during the procedure, the individual breathing and blood oxygen level, heart rate, blood pressure, EKG, and temperature will always be monitored. General anesthesia is one of the most common anesthesia types that is used in surgeries. As a definition general anesthesia is a medicine that is administered through a mask or an IV placed in the vein which leads the individual to stay unconscious during the operation.
The general anesthesia used for IVF is different from the general anesthesia used in surgeries. The drugs used for IVF general anesthesia are lighter that the ones used for surgeries. During egg retrieval, general anesthesia used individual will be able to breathe on her own while she is under deep sleep and after the operation will be able to turn back to home.
During general anesthesia, the uterus becomes more relaxed which helps to aspirate a large number of ovarian follicles. But there are risks in taking general anesthesia for most of the anesthetic agents used may have been found in the follicular fluid. To avoid detrimental effects of general anesthesia on oocytes the duration should be kept minimum.
In IVF treatment during egg retrieval, it necessitates a short-acting anesthetic approach with minimal side effects. There are various anesthetic types that can be used for transvaginal oocyte retrieval. Conscious sedation, regional anesthesia, local injection as a paracervical block (PCB), epidural block, and monitored anesthesia care are the most common anesthesia types.
The best-trusted anesthesia type is “monitored sedation with/without local anesthesia” Most of the clinics prefer to use sedation. Rarely general anesthesia and regional anesthesia with sedation are also preferred by some clinics.
Egg retrieval by monitored anesthesia is a good option as the drugs are well tolerated and for daycare settings, this type is more suitable than the other options. The clinics that prefer to use monitored anesthesia mostly combine conscious sedation as a part of monitored anesthesia.
How Does Anesthesia Work?
The pain expressed during the aspiration of eggs is identical to intensive menstrual pain. But, the needle inserted through the vaginal wall and stimulation of the ovary are the factors that increase the pain. Besides these factors, the number of follicles and duration of the oocyte retrieval procedure causes pain intensity. This pain affects the individual in both ways: Pain and Stress… Anesthesia is the only solution to reduce the press of the individual.