IVF Procedure

oocyte
Human oocyte

Related Article: In Vitro Fertilization

Although specifics may vary from clinic to clinic, the following five steps outline the general IVF Procedure. Note that only four of the steps involve the patient; the third (middle) step takes place in the IVF laboratory. It is generally during this middle step of the IVF Procedure when a clinic will apply techniques related to other infertility treatment options (such as ICSI or AEC).

Stimulation

On the third day of a woman's menstrual cycle, a clinic puts her on a drug protocol (largely injections) lasting about ten days. These drugs achieve three things:

  1. They stimulate follicle development
  2. They convince the ovaries to produce more than one egg
  3. They prevent ovulation by blocking the necessary hormones

Throughout this process, the clinic will use blood tests and vaginal ultrasound scans to monitor developments within the ovaries.

Retrieval

When the test results indicate follicle development is nearly complete, the woman receives a hormone injection that helps her eggs mature.

About 36 hours later, the clinic collects those eggs in a 20-30 minute IVF procedure called transvaginal oocyte retrieval. While the woman is under some form of sedation, doctors use ultrasound to guide a needle through the vaginal wall to reach the ovaries, from which they extract follicular fluid (containing eggs).

At this time, the man will provide a fresh sperm sample

Fertilization

An IVF laboratory prepares each egg by removing the zona pellucida, or outer shell. They prepare the sperm in a process referred to as 'washing', in which they remove the seminal fluid and keep only the healthiest sperm.

They incubate the eggs and the sperm together in a single petri dish and await fertilization (18 hours). After this they move the embryos to another dish and monitor them for the next 48 hours.

Transfer

The woman now undergoes a 20-30 minute IVF procedure called embryo transfer. The clinic uses a catheter inserted through her vagina and cervix to release the embryo (or embryos) into her uterus.

While this IVF procedure may cause discomfort and some cramp-like pain, it does not generally require any sedation.

Waiting Game

The next fourteen days represent little more than a waiting game, and for this reason they may be the toughest. The woman may (or may not) be put on a medication protocol, and after two weeks she returns to the clinic for the all-important pregnancy test, which will determine whether or not the IVF procedure was successful

ConceivingConcepts.com does not make treatment recommendations for IVF Procedure nor dispense medical advice; only a physician or heath care provider is qualified to determine the proper treatment for any patient. The treatment options are presented for general education purposes only.

Previous Article: IVF


Dive Deeper


 
disclaimer

The information provided on ConceivingConcepts.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of ConceivingConcepts.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. See our Legal Statement for more details.

Fertility Clinics Directory

Find a Fertility Clinic

If you or a loved one is suffering from infertility and needs help conceiving then we are here to offer help in any way we can. We have over 450 Fertility Clinics listed on our Directory. Click here to search for a Fertility Clinic that is right for you.

babymaker