In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is the process of combining a woman’s egg and a man’s sperm in a laboratory dish. It is a combination of two words In Vitro and Fertilization where “In vitro” refers to a process taking place outside of a living organism and “Fertilization” refers to the attachment and penetration of sperm into an egg.
What is IVF?
IVF is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) that helps couples who have been unable to conceive naturally. Normally, a woman’s egg and a man’s sperm are fertilized inside the woman’s body during intercourse, leading to the birth of a baby approximately 9 months later, through a process known as natural or unassisted conception. In IVF, the fertilization process is mimicked by uniting the sperm and egg in a petri dish in a controlled, sanitized environment. Upon fertilization, one or more embryos are transferred to the uterus for implantation.
Reasons for IVF:
Low sperm count
Ovulation problems due to conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (POS/PCOS)
Issues with fallopian tubes
Sterilization of either partner
To avoid passing on inherited genetic disorders to children.
Steps involved in IVF
Step 1: Ovarian Stimulation (Super Ovulation)
Fertility drugs are administered to the woman to boost egg production. Normally, a woman produces one egg per month, but fertility drugs prompt the ovaries to produce several eggs. To monitor the ovaries and hormone levels, the woman will undergo regular transvaginal ultrasounds and blood tests.
Step 2: Egg Collection
A minor surgical procedure known as follicular aspiration is performed to extract the eggs from the woman’s body. Using ultrasound imaging as a guide, the healthcare provider inserts a thin needle through the vagina and into the ovary to retrieve the eggs from the follicles. This process is repeated for the other ovary. In exceptional circumstances, a pelvic laparoscopy may be required for egg retrieval. If the woman is unable to produce eggs, donated eggs can be utilized.
Step 3: Insemination and Fertilization
The sperm from the man is mixed with the best quality eggs in a process called insemination. Both the sperm and eggs are then stored in a controlled environment. Fertilization occurs a few hours after insemination, with the sperm entering the egg. If the chance of fertilization is low, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be performed, which involves directly injecting the sperm into the egg. Some fertility programs also routinely perform ICSI, even if everything appears normal.
Step 4: Embryo Culture
Once the egg is fertilized, it becomes an embryo and is closely monitored by laboratory staff to ensure proper growth. Within 5 days, a healthy embryo will have several cells that are actively dividing and will reach the blastocyst stage. The embryos are then evaluated and graded based on quality and integrity.
Step 5: Embryo Transfer
The embryos are transferred into the woman’s uterus 3 to 5 days after egg retrieval and fertilization. A thin tube (catheter) containing the embryos is inserted by the doctor into the woman’s vagina, through the cervix, and into the uterus. If the embryo attaches to the uterine lining and develops, it leads to pregnancy. Multiple embryos may be transferred, resulting in a potential pregnancy with twins, triplets, or more.
Step 6: Pregnancy Assessment
After two weeks of embryo transfer, the final result can be determined. If successful, it calls for celebration. An ultrasound scan is performed two weeks later to check for a heartbeat.
Step 7: Follow-Up Care
Following a successful IVF cycle, regular follow-up appointments are recommended to monitor for any potential complications. This is an opportunity to ask your doctor any questions and prepare for the exciting months ahead.
KISHORI IVF is a renowned IVF centre located across Odisha in places such as Bargarh, Angul, and Bhubaneswar, dedicated to helping couples start their families since 2012. With over 1,000 successful test-tube baby deliveries in just 10 years, our team of experts is committed to providing the best care and support to those who struggle with infertility. If you’re facing difficulties in starting your family, don’t hesitate to connect with us. Our top priority is your health and happiness, and we’ll walk with you every step of the way to ensure you take home your bundle of joy. Get in touch with us today and take the first step towards the joy of parenthood.
Contact KISHORI IVF now to schedule a consultation with our experts and start your journey towards parenthood.
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