IVF is a fertilisation process in which an egg and sperm are combined manually in a laboratory dish, after which the embryo is transferred into the woman’s uterus. It is very helpful to those who have some genetic or hormonal problems which impede their chances of getting pregnant.
There are four main IVF procedure steps to help you conceive.
1.Control Ovarian Hyperstimulation (COH) or Ovulation Induction:
In the first step, your doctor will monitor and record your ovaries to know the timing of the egg release. The doctor will make sure that your hormone levels are stable and normal, and that your ovaries are producing eggs among other procedures. Usually, the egg is matured by administering HCG. Your doctor will schedule the egg retrieval process after 34-36 hours of HCG injection.
Usually, doctors prescribe hormones or fertility medicines so as to stimulate the ovaries to produce more than one egg, thereby increasing the chances of a successful pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about donor eggs for this treatment.
In this step of the IVF process, theegg is retrieved under intravenous sedation in a surgical suite. The upper vaginal wall is penetrated by an extremely thin needle, and the fluid is extracted from the follicles under the gentle suction of the ultrasound. Immediately after, the oocyte i.e. the egg is separated from the follicular fluid and placed in a culture dish that contains nutrient media. Soon after the oocyte is transferred to the incubator.
3.Fertilisation and Embryo Culture:
In this stage, the eggs are fertilised. Sperm samples are collected either from your partner or from a sperm donor, following which the most active sperm is selected and mixed with the egg inside a special chamber. In a few cases, the sperm may be injected into the egg directly. Finally, the egg and sperm are kept in an incubator which is monitoredto ensure the development of thehealthy embryo.
4.Embryo Quality for Transfer and Implantation:
In the final step of the IVF process , the embryos are checked for quality by the embryologist to select the healthiest ones to transfer. A speculum is positioned inside your vagina after which a small plastic tube connecting the cervix to the uterine cavity transfers the embryo or embryos into it. Complete bed rest is suggested for 24 hours after this entire process.