In vitro fertilization (IVF) is also known as test tube baby. In vitro fertilization is a form of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that involves fertilizing sperm and eggs outside of the human body. IVF is a complicated procedure that includes physically removing eggs from ovaries and mixing them with sperm in a lab for conception.
The fertilized egg (now known as an embryo) is implanted into a uterus a few days after fertilization. When this embryo inserts itself into the uterine wall, pregnancy begins.
Why is IVF performed?
If you or your spouse suffers from the following conditions, IVF may be a viable choice.
- Fallopian tubes that be blocked or damaged
- Low sperm count or other disorders with sperm
- Other ovarian problems, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Fibroids in the uterus
- Having issues with your uterus
- The chance of passing on a hereditary illness or disorder is high
- Infertility that isn’t explained
How to prepare for IVF?
You’ll need a full medical evaluation and fertility testing before beginning IVF therapy. Your spouse will also be questioned and tested. You’ll go through the following steps as part of your preparation:
- Consultation for IVF (meet with medical professionals to go through the specifics of the IVF procedure)
- A uterine exam, a current Pap test, and mammography are all recommended (if over 40)
- Analysis of semen
- Diagnostic testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other infectious conditions
- Blood and urine tests, as well as ovarian reserve testing
- Instructions for using fertility medications
- Screening for genetic carriers
- Consent paperwork must be signed
- Hysteroscopy or saline-infused sonography (SIS) are used to examine the uterine cavity
Your healthcare physician will recommend that you begin taking folic acid supplements at least three months before embryo transfer.
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The IVF Process
In vitro fertilization is divided into five steps:
#Step 1 – Ovary Stimulation:
Hormone injection is self-administered just beneath the skin around the stomach three days after the menstrual cycle starts. On average, this is done every day for nine to ten days. This promotes the ovaries to produce a large number of mature eggs.
#Step 2 – Egg Retrieval:
Once the eggs are confirmed to be suitable for extraction, a last “trigger” injection is given to prepare the eggs for retrieval. Around 36 hours later, all viable eggs are extracted with a needle during an appointment visit. To increase the odds of successful fertilization, many eggs are removed.
#Step 3 – Sperm Retrieval:
Sperm may be collected straight from the testicles if the woman’s spouse has a low sperm count or has undergone a vasectomy. Otherwise, the partner’s sperm is generally fresh. It’s also possible to utilize already frozen sperm, such as from a donor.
#Step 4 – Fertilization of the Eggs:
The sperm and eggs are mixed on a laboratory plate. The cells are continuously monitored as they divide and grow, and they may be checked for genetic disorders. When transplanted, the healthiest fertilized egg, known as a blastocyst, has the best chance of implanting. Multiple blastocysts may be frozen and stored for subsequent transfer if they develop and their cells continue to divide.
#Step 5 – Embryo Transfer:
The developed blastocyst is delivered through the cervix and into the uterus through a catheter around five days after conception. This quick procedure is comparable to a pap smear, which opens the vaginal canal using a speculum. An office appointment is scheduled after two weeks to assess if the transfer effectively establishes pregnancy.
Treatment with in vitro fertilization (IVF) is a personal and difficult procedure. Communicate freely with your healthcare practitioner to ensure that you know all the processes needed. Throughout your treatment, your healthcare team will be available to assist you and your spouse.
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