Written by Suma rp
For a woman who has undergone one or multiple fertility treatments, giving birth to a healthy baby is the top priority. How she delivers that baby is the least of her concerns as long as the baby will be safe, healthy, and full-term. Can she deliver the baby vaginally or is a cesarean section her only option? Is normal delivery possible after fertility treatments?
Ask a pregnant woman about her delivery and most of them would tell you they want it to be a normal delivery, A.K.A. vaginal delivery. While many would opt for an elective C-section fearing the pain and the strain of pushing a baby out or even due to unfavorable experiences in past pregnancies, many women still prefer a natural vaginal birth over a surgical C-section.
In This Article
Fertility treatments are those treatments that help a couple surpass various fertility issues and have a successful pregnancy. The issue could be any of the following
Whatever the reason may be, fertility treatments like IVF, IUI, etc., help overcome the issue. These treatments surpass the problems and help the sperm fertilize the egg, thus resulting in a successful pregnancy. However, fertility treatments are not always successful. Some may never succeed, while some may take multiple attempts before it results in a pregnancy.
If you are opting for a fertility treatment to achieve your dream of a bigger family, here are the various treatments your fertility doctor might suggest
In Intrauterine insemination, the sperm is extracted, washed, and inserted into the uterus to increase the chances of natural fertilization.
In-Vitro Fertilization is one of the most recommended fertility treatments where the sperm and the egg are extracted, allowed to fertilize under clinical conditions, and the embryo is inserted back into the uterus for implantation.
In this treatment, the couple can use donor sperm, egg, or even a donor embryo
A couple’s embryo (egg and sperm belonging to the couple) is inserted into a surrogate’s uterus. The surrogate carries the fetus to term and delivers the baby.
[Read : All About Surrogacy]
Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer is where the eggs and sperm are put together and inserted into the fallopian tube before fertilization. The embryo is formed naturally, making this a good option for those with fertility issues who don’t want IVF.
In Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer the embryo formed under clinical conditions is inserted into the fallopian tube instead of the uterus like in IVF.
A normal pregnancy is where the pregnancy happens naturally. Sexual intercourse results in the fertilization of the egg and results in a healthy pregnancy. It is not so easy for many. Today, many couples struggle with infertility due to age, health, and various other factors. For such couples, fertility treatments are a boon.
In fertility treatment, the couple is assisted in conceiving a child. The treatment will help them get pregnant. After the implantation of the embryo, the pregnancy will be just like a normal pregnancy.
One of the biggest questions for a couple undergoing fertility treatments is – is normal delivery possible after all these treatments?
Fertility treatments interfere only in places where the couple is having difficulty in conception. After conception, it is like any other pregnancy. So, yes, normal delivery is possible after infertility treatments. However, you need a doctor who is not only well experienced in vaginal delivery for IVF patients but should also be associated with a fertility hospital with state-of-the-art facilities, to support any emergencies or complications.
In the majority of cases, a fertility treatment usually ends in a C-section delivery. Because, fertility treatments increase the risk of preeclampsia, placenta previa, or gestational diabetes. In such cases, unexpected complications can arise during the time of delivery or even toward the end of the pregnancy.
To avoid complications that can go out of hand, or to be on the safer side, doctors prefer to perform a C-section and deliver the baby before the 40th or 39th week itself. In certain cases, with complications throughout pregnancy, the doctor will just wait for the baby to reach its 37th week and perform a C-section to deliver a full-term baby. The baby is then closely monitored to rule out any issues.
The chances of a C-section delivery after fertility treatment or even natural conception are high in the following cases
If the labor goes on for hours, it will tire out the mother and she may not be strong enough to push out the baby on her own. Instead of taking the chances till the very last minute, doctors will perform a C-section if the active labor seems to extend beyond 20 hrs.
If the baby is in a breech position or horizontal even during the last few days of pregnancy and does not come into position even after the mother goes into labor, it will mostly be a cesarean delivery.
[Read : All About Delivering A Breech Baby]
Health complications in the mother, for the baby, insufficient oxygen supply to the baby, or if the baby passes meconium in the womb, it will end in a C-section delivery.
Here are a few tips to increase your chances of a normal delivery
Try to stay active throughout your pregnancy with your doctor’s consent. Exercise will help keep the muscles supple and improve your stamina and lung capacity which are important during labor.
Try to stay calm, and stress-free and indulge in activities that will keep you calm. An increase in stress can increase the risk of various health conditions and preterm delivery
Ensure you get plenty of sleep, and follow a nutritious diet, to avoid deficiencies and other health complications.
Once your pregnancy is confirmed after fertility treatment, your doctor will chart out your subsequent visits. Check-ups after a fertility treatment can be more frequent when compared to natural pregnancy. The doctors prefer to keep a close watch on the baby’s development. During pregnancy, if you feel any uncomfortable pain, contractions, or leak fluid or blood, you need to visit your doctor immediately.
Be it a normal pregnancy or a pregnancy due to fertility treatment, the differences end with the method of conception. A vaginal delivery is possible despite fertility treatments if you and your doctor have discussed and decided on how to proceed toward this goal.
Yes, normal delivery is possible even after an IUI as it is like any regular pregnancy after conception.
If you do not have any complications, you can deliver your IVF baby vaginally. But, if you conceive through fertility treatments your doctor will take utmost care of your health to ensure a healthy delivery.
Unless you have some underlying health conditions that can worsen during the end of pregnancy or delivery, you are not at any risk of delivering vaginally after treatments. And, unless the baby is in a risky place before delivery, it cannot endanger the baby either.
Suma is a passionate content writer with a strong keenness to understand the miracle of pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Suma has successfully transitioned into a full-time content writer and a key contributor at Being The Parent. She leverages on her experimental background in chemistry and experience in writing to come up with well-researched content that helps parents struggling to deal with various medical conditions of their children.Read more.