In Vitro Fertilization requires careful research, planning and preparation.
Once you have decided to go ahead with the treatment IVF entails several steps over a period of approximately 20 – 25 days. Here is what to expect.
IVF Step # 1
The first IVF step monitors the egg ripening process and the administration of fertility drugs.
The drugs help in the timing of the ripening. The use of fertility drugs also helps to increase the success rates of IVF as they trigger super ovulation which allows a greater number of embryos to develop.
IVF Step # 2
The transvaginal process follows. This is a collection of the egg after the cycle has been closely monitored and prior to ovulation. This takes about 20 minutes and is usually done under sedation.
IVF Step # 3
Now comes the crucial part – mixing the eggs and sperms together under lab conditions.
In cases where sperm might not be able to naturally fertilize the eggs, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is used to inject a single sperm cell into an egg using special microscopic equipment. Either way, the resulting fertilized eggs incubate under controlled conditions and develop into embryos.
IVF Step # 4
After 4-5 days, embryos evolve to a 6 to 8-cell stage and can be placed into the uterus. The embryo transfer step may involve placing 2-3 embryos into the woman’s womb, using a catheter through the vagina and the cervix.
After the embryo transfer occurs the woman will need to lie quietly for about an hour. After this she can go home and rest. She should be driven home and rest in bed for the remainder of the day.
After at least 24 hours of bed rest the woman can do normal daily activities. However, sexual activity and strenuous exercise should be avoided for about two weeks or until pregnancy is confirmed.
IVF Step # 5
After 2-3 weeks, a blood pregnancy test or an ultrasound can reveal if the treatment was successful and if it can lead to a possible pregnancy.
IVF Step # 6
If all goes well, start planning for a Baby Shower Party!