Sometimes, in vitro fertilization is offered as a primary treatment for infertility in women over age 40. In vitro fertilization can also be done if you have certain health conditions. For example, in vitro fertilization may be an option if you or your partner has:
- Impaired sperm production or function
Below-average sperm concentration, weak movement of sperm (poor mobility), or abnormalities in sperm size and shape can make it difficult for sperm to fertilized an egg. If semen abnormalities are found, a visit to an infertility specialist might be needed to see if there are correctable problems or underlying health concerns.
- Unexplained infertility
Unexplained infertility means no cause of infertility has been found despite evaluation for common causes.
- A genetic disorder
If you or your partner is at risk of passing on a genetic disorder to your child, you may be candidate for preimplantation genetic testing-a procedure that involved in vitro fertilization. After the eggs are harvested and fertilized, they’re screened for certain genetic problems, although not all genetic problems can be found. Embryos that don’t contain identified problems can be transferred to the uterus.
- Fertility preservation for cancer or other health conditions
If you’re about to start cancer treatment-such as radiation or chemotherapy-that could harm your fertility, in vitro fertilization for fertility preservation may be an option. Women can have eggs harvested from their ovaries and frozen in an unfertilized state for later use. Or the eggs can be fertilized and frozen as embryos for future use.