The In-Vitro Fertilization process has a total of five steps. And we have explained them below in the simplest way possible to help you understand how it works.
So, let’s begin.
Boosting egg production (super-ovulation)
The first and foremost step for IVF is called Super-Ovulation. It is the process in which you are given fertility drugs to stimulate the process of egg production. Simply put, the process requires you to take medicines containing Follicle Stimulating Hormones, which help your body produce more eggs than the usual amount in a month.
But why is it done?
This is simply a game of numbers. The more eggs your body produces, the better the chances of successful fertilization during the treatment. In addition to the drug administration, at this stage, you also have to take frequent blood tests and ultrasounds to help your doctor check on your ovaries’ health and hormonal levels.
Removal of eggs
The process of removal of eggs from your body is called follicular aspiration. This is a minor outpatient surgical procedure requiring not much of your time. A day before this procedure, your doctor gives you a hormone injection to get your eggs to mature quickly.
To perform the procedure precisely, your doctor uses an ultrasound to guide a thin needle into your ovaries via your vagina. This needle then sucks all the eggs out one by one.
Don’t worry; you won’t feel any pain or discomfort, thanks to the medicines your doctor gives you before the procedure. You may feel cramps afterward, which usually last a day. Additionally, you’ll take medication to prepare the lining of your uterus and successfully receive the embryo during the later stage.
This part is perhaps the simplest of all. All you’ll need is a sample of sperm from your partner. Or you may find a donor. Once the sperm is retrieved, the selection is put through a high-speed wash and spin cycle to find and extract the healthiest candidates.
Unification of egg and sperm
This is perhaps the part of the IVF process most people are familiar with – the combination of egg and sperm – or in technical words, “insemination.” The fertilization of an egg using this process usually takes a few hours. Another way your doctor may decide to perform this process is intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). In this, the sperm is injected directly into the egg.
Transfer of embryo into the uterus
After almost 3-5 days of the fertilization of eggs, the time comes for your doctor to place the embryo into your uterus.
During this process, multiple embryos are placed into your uterus, hoping that at least one of them will place itself in the lining and begin to develop. In some cases, multiple embryos may also end up putting themselves in the uterus lining, which results in more than one baby.
Once it’s all done, though, there’s only one thing left – a pregnancy test. That’s how you find out if the IVF procedure was a success for you or not.
Is IVF right for you?
IVF is safe for most types of infertility patients. Couples who cannot conceive for the reasons mentioned below may consider IVF.
- TUBAL FACTOR INFERTILITY
- POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME (PCOS)
- MALE FACTOR INFERTILITY
- GENETIC CONTROL
However, please note the procedure is not for everyone. Certain medical conditions may make you unfit for it. These include ovarian dysfunction, fibroid tumors, abnormal hormone levels, and uterine abnormalities. Though IVF for women diagnosed with these conditions might not always fail, the chances of success are comparably lower.
The results may vary from case to case. Hence, we recommend you contact your doctor in case of any confusion regarding IVF for yourself.