A Step-By-Step Look at the IVF ProcessDr. Ashish Kale
When you think about typical fertility treatments, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is definitely at the top of everyone’s list. There’s a good explanation for it.
IVF has been around for a long time, and you’re probably familiar with the basic concept: combining egg and sperm outside the body in culture. But there’s a lot more to IVF than that, both before and after the procedure. Here’s a five-step breakdown of the IVF procedure.
IVF is widely used to treat the following conditions:
Fertility problems in older women
Women who have fallopian tubes that are damaged or occluded
Endometriosis affects women of all ages.
- Infertility in men induced by a low sperm count or sperm blockage
IVF Process in Five Easy Steps
- Superovulation can help you increase your egg output: (Day 2 – 10)
Fertility medicines will be administered to you, which will start a process known as egg stimulation or superovulation. To put it another way, the medications, which contain Follicle Stimulating Hormone, will instruct your body to generate more than one egg per month.
The more eggs you create, the better your chances of fertilization later in the process.
During this stage of the IVF process, you’ll have regular transvaginal ultrasounds and blood tests to check your ovaries and monitor your hormone levels.
HCG Trigger: (Day 12)
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone that causes follicles to break and release an egg, is the real trigger injection.
Gonadotropic hormones like FSH and LH stimulate the ovaries for egg growth to achieve pregnancy during an ovarian stimulation cycle.
- Remove the eggs (Day 14 & 15)
At this stage, the eggs will then be removed using a small surgical procedure known as follicular aspiration. It’s usually done as an outpatient procedure in your doctor’s clinic.
Your doctor will use an ultrasound to guide a small needle into each of your ovaries through your vagina during the surgery. The needle is equipped with a mechanism that suctions the eggs out one by one.
- Collect sperm from your partner or a donor (Day 14 – 15)
While your eggs are being removed, your partner will provide a sperm sample. You also may choose to use donor sperm. The sperm are then put through a high-speed wash and spin cycle to find the healthiest ones.
- Unite sperm and eggs (Day 16 – 18)
Now comes the most well-known phase of IVF: pairing your best sperm with your best eggs. Insemination is the term for this stage.
A sperm normally takes a few hours to fertilize an egg. Instead of injecting the sperm directly into the egg, we at Ashakiran Hospital opt for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) if needed or sperms are less.
- Transfer the embryo(s) into your uterus (Day 18 – 20)
You’ll receive yet another medication after your eggs have been collected. This one is for preparing the uterine lining to receive the embryos transferred back into you.
Your doctor will implant the embryos into your uterus using a catheter three to five days after fertilization. This part of IVF is done while you are awake at your doctor’s clinic, like the third phase.
Multiple embryos are transferred back into you, hoping that at least one will implant itself in the lining of your uterus and begin to develop.
Multiple embryos can implant at the same time, which is why multiples are prevalent in IVF patients.
The IVF process resembles natural reproduction. The next stage after the IVF process determines if the procedure worked—the pregnancy test.