In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a type of assisted reproductive technology that involves fertilizing an egg with sperm outside of the body, in a laboratory dish, and then transferring the resulting embryo to the uterus for implantation. IVF is typically used by couples who have fertility problems, and it has helped many people become parents.
Here are the Eight (8) procedures for IVF
- Ovarian Stimulation
- Egg Retrieval
- Sperm Collection
- Embryo Development
- Embryo Transfer
- Pregnancy Test
Before starting the IVF process, the woman will undergo a series of tests to determine her ovarian reserve, or the number of eggs remaining in her ovaries. This is important because as a woman ages, her ovarian reserve decreases, making it more difficult to conceive naturally.
Based on the test results, the woman will then be given hormone injections to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. This is important because in a natural cycle, only one egg is produced per month. The goal of ovarian stimulation is to produce a number of mature eggs, which can increase the chances of successful fertilization and implantation.
During the ovarian stimulation phase, the woman is closely monitored with ultrasound and blood tests to track the development of follicles. Follicles are small fluid-filled sacs that contain the eggs.
The ultrasound allows the doctor to measure the size and number of follicles, while the blood tests monitor the levels of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. The goal of monitoring is to determine when the follicles are mature enough for egg retrieval.
Once the follicles have reached a certain size, the woman is given a trigger shot of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to finalize the maturation of the eggs. Approximately 36 hours later, the eggs are retrieved using a needle that is guided by ultrasound. This procedure is typically done under sedation or anesthesia to minimize discomfort.
At the same time that the eggs are retrieved, the man provides a semen sample. The semen sample is then prepared in the laboratory to isolate the healthiest and most active sperm. This process is known as sperm washing.
The retrieved eggs are placed in a culture dish with the prepared sperm, and they are left to fertilize for 2-5 days. This process is known as in vitro fertilization. During this time, the embryos will be monitored to ensure that they are developing properly.
The fertilized eggs will develop into embryos over the next few days. The embryos will be monitored for quality and growth. In some cases, the embryos may undergo a process called assisted hatching, which involves making a small hole in the outer layer of the embryo to aid in the implantation process.
The best embryo(s) are selected and transferred to the woman’s uterus via a thin catheter. The number of embryos transferred depends on the woman’s age and other factors, but usually one or two embryos are transferred. In some cases, the embryos may be frozen for future use.
Approximately two weeks after the embryo transfer, the woman takes a pregnancy test to determine if the IVF procedure was successful. If the test is positive, the woman will undergo regular prenatal care to ensure the health of both mother and baby.
It’s important to note that IVF can be a complex and emotionally challenging process for couples. It’s important to work closely with a doctor or fertility specialist to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the procedure and the potential risks and benefits. In addition, many couples find it helpful to seek support from a counselor or support group during the IVF process.