In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a well-known, assisted reproductive technology (ART) used to help a couple conceive. In IVF, the fertilization process happens in a laboratory, rather than inside the female partner’s body. The female partner’s eggs are retrieved from her ovaries and fertilized in a lab using the male partner’s sperm, which is taken from a semen sample. After fertilization, the resulting embryo is then transferred to the uterus of the female, after being cultured in an incubator for a few days. The transfer is followed by implantation that results in pregnancy when successful.
Why Opt for IVF?
Compared to other fertility treatments, IVF treatment offers the best chance of success. The success rate varies based on factors such as age, medical history, and investigation results.
IVF is a good option for couples who cannot conceive through conventional methods.
Who Can Opt for IVF?
IVF is a great option for people suffering from:
Blockade of the fallopian tube or damage to the fallopian tube
Depleted sperm production
Advanced maternal age
IVF with the eggs of the female partner and sperm of the male partner
Step 1 Visit by Patients for Medical Examination
Both the male and female partners visit the clinic for a thorough medical examination and blood tests. They also consult with an embryologist. Using the test results, the fertility specialist determines which IVF program is most appropriate for the couple and explains the treatment process in detail
Step 2 Stimulation
The female partner needs to visit on day two or three of her menstrual cycle when hormonal investigations are done along with an ultrasound. The ovaries are stimulated with medication to promote the growth of follicles containing the eggs; this process can last for 8 to 12 days. The response of the ovaries (quantity and quality of follicles recruited) is monitored through ultrasounds and blood investigations at regular intervals.
Step 3 Egg Collection
After 8 to 12 days of taking the medicine, an injection (trigger) is given to assist with the final maturation of the egg and loosening of the egg from the follicular wall. The patient must visit the clinic for the egg retrieval process, which takes place 34 to 36 hours after the trigger is given. The retrieval process is a daycare procedure that is performed with ultrasound guidance under sedation. Once retrieved, the eggs are processed by an embryologist in the ART laboratory.
Step 4 Sperm Collection
On the same day, the male partner provides a fresh semen sample, which is analyzed and processed by an embryologist in the ART lab. If required, sperm can be extracted from a testicle or epididymis in a separate procedure.
Step 5 Fertilization
Different procedures can be used to fertilize the collected eggs. In this step, the sperm that were processed in the previous step are used to fertilize the eggs. Each mature egg receives a single healthy sperm. Sixteen to 18 hours after the eggs receive the sperm, they are checked to see if fertilization has taken place. An egg that is fertilized is referred to as an embryo; the embryo is then cultured in an incubator for several days.
Step 6 Embryo Transfer
Based on the quantity, quality, and growth of cultured embryos, the embryologist selects the best embryo and an appropriate day for transfer into the uterus of the female partner.
Step 7 After Transfer
After the embryo transfer, specialists may prescribe medicines to enhance the chances of embryo implantation. After the stipulated period of time, pregnancy tests are conducted to confirm pregnancy.
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