Process of IVF
In the start of the IVF cycle, synthetic hormones are used for ovary stimulation to produce multiple eggs. Multiple eggs are produced instead of a regular one egg (natural process) to improve the chances of pregnancy. Multiple eggs are produced because some eggs fail to fertilize or develop, usually after fertilization.
This step may require the consumption of varied medications for ovarian stimulation & oocyte maturation. Medicine may also be prescribed to prepare the lining of your uterus and prevent premature ovulation
To make sure that your eggs are ready and healthy enough to retrive, doctor may suggest undergoing tests like vaginal ultrasound and blood test.
At times IVF cycle is canceled before egg retrieval owing to various reasons mentioned below
Too less or too many numbers of follicles developing which may cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
Unrecognized medical issues
Egg retrieval should be done before ovulation and 34 to 36 hours prior to the last medication procedure.
Whole egg retrieval procedure will be carried out only after the patient is sedated through veins & given pain relief medication sometimes.
Transvaginal ultrasound aspiration is the most common egg retrieval method. In this method, an ultrasound probe is inserted in the vagina to identify follicles. Followed by insertion of a small needle into an ultrasound guide which passes through vagina & into follicles to retrieve eggs.
Abdominal surgery or laparoscopy may be suggested if ovaries are not accessible via transvaginal ultrasound.
A suction device is connected to the needle which is used to remove eggs from the follicle.
Removed eggs are placed in a nutritive liquid and incubated. Later mature and healthy eggs will be mixed with sperm to create embryos.
This step may use a male partner's sperm or donor's sperm as adviced by the doctor. If the couple plans to go with fresh sperm, the doctor asks the male partner to submit a semen sample at the clinic. If doctor advice to go with frozen or donor sperm it will already be available in the hospital. Sperms can also be retrieved via needle or surgical procedure to extract sperms directly from testicles. Sperm and fluid separation will be done in a lab.
Fertilization can be carried out by Insemination as well as by Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) method.
In Insemination fresh sperms and mature eggs are mixed and incubated overnight.
Whereas in Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) a single healthy sperm is injected directly into each mature egg separately. ICSI is most preferred when the quality of semen is low or previous fertilization cycles failed.
Transferring embryo into uterus mostly takes places within 2 - 6 days after egg retrieval at the clinic.
Even though the procedure is painless, the doctor still prefers giving a sedative. A long & flexible tube known as catheter is inserted into vagina, through the cervix into uterus. An injection which contain embroys is attached to the end of the catheter. With help of this needle doctor places the embryo into uterus.
After successful completion of IVF cycle, blood test is done to know the HCG
(human chorionic gonadotropin) hormone level. Presence of HCG in your blood usually indicates a positive pregnancy test.
Embryo Transfer and Implantation.