IVF is the procedure of fertilising a human egg outside of the body and then implanting the early embryo (blastocyst) into a woman’s uterus. When a couple is unable to conceive on their own, IVF is frequently employed. Megan Link, MD, a reproductive expert from University of Utah Health, adds, “In vitro fertilisation is also utilised to avoid hereditary illnesses that may be of concern to the parents.” The procedure is now quite standard, and complications are exceedingly uncommon. Despite the fact that not every IVF process results in a pregnancy, it has become a realistic alternative for people who are unable to conceive on their own.
Steps of IVF process:
- Stimulation of the Ovary
A hormone injection is self-administered just beneath the skin around the stomach three days after the menstrual cycle begins. On average, this is done every day for nine to 10 days. This promotes the ovaries to produce a large number of mature eggs.
- The Retrieval of the Eggs
Once the eggs are confirmed to be suitable for extraction, a last “trigger” injection is given to prepare the eggs for retrieval. During an appointment visit around 36 hours later, all viable eggs are extracted with a needle. In order to increase the odds of successful fertilisation, many eggs are removed.
- Retrieval of the Sperms
Sperm can 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 use already frozen sperm, such as from a donor.
- Fertilisation of the Eggs
In a laboratory dish, the sperm and eggs are mixed together. The cells are continuously monitored as they divide and grow, and they may be checked for genetic disorders. When transplanted, the healthiest fertilised egg, known as a blastocyst, has the best chance of implanting. Multiple blastocysts can be frozen and stored for subsequent transfer if they develop and their cells continue to divide.
- The embryo’s 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 involves opening the vaginal canal using a speculum. An office appointment is scheduled after two weeks to assess whether the transfer was effective in establishing pregnancy.
When should the married couple consider IVF?
It is entirely dependent on your age and circumstances. As you become older, you realise how valuable time is. The sooner you can get good eggs, the greater your chances of having a successful pregnancy. If you are under 35 years old and have been trying to conceive for a year, you should consider IVF. After six months of trying, IVF is indicated if you are between the ages of 35 and 40. If you’re above the age of 40, it’s three months. A reproductive endocrinologist (RE) can help you figure out if IVF is a good fit for your health and circumstances.
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