In Vitro Fertilization IVF is an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) that aims to fertilize the female’s egg with the male’s sperm in a laboratory setting, increasing the success probabilities. The first step in the six-step procedure is the setup: screening, initial assessment, and pre-treatment medications.
The female body usually produces one egg per menstrual cycle. But as IVF depends on the development of multiple eggs to choose from the best to plant in the uterus, you will need to produce more eggs. That is why the physician will start a process called ovarian stimulation, in which you (or the donor mother) will receive regular hormonal injections to stimulate your ovaries to produce more follicles.
Once multiple follicles grow and reach the ideal size, our expert physicians will obtain them via a procedure called transvaginal follicle aspiration (done under anesthesia). In this procedure, an ultrasound-guided needle will be inserted in your vagina to reach the egg-containing follicles and suction out the mature eggs.
The aspirated follicles are fertilized with the father’s sperm by putting them in a tube and leaving them to incubate overnight. According to the fertility tests performed before the procedure, fertilization using this simple technique might not work for some people. This can be surpassed using a technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), in which the sperm is directly injected into the egg.
After the fertilization is accomplished, the physician will monitor the fertilized eggs’ development and closely assess them and grade them for quality. This is the step where the physicians may use genetic tests to screen for and detect probable disorders (PGD/PGS).
After an embryo reaches the multicellular stage (on day three) or the blastocyst stage (on day five), the physician will transfer it to the uterus of the intended mother. This is done by inserting a thin tube (a catheter) into your uterus, via your vagina and cervix, and releasing the embryo there to implant itself in your uterus. The transfer is confirmed by a pregnancy test after 12 days, followed by an ultrasound after another 14 days.
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