What are the benefits of IVF?
- In vitro fertilization procedure can be opted by anyone irrespective of age
- It can also be carried out using donated eggs and sperms.
- It gives you better control over the timing as the gametes can be stored for future use.
- It alleviates the risks of miscarriage by helping the doctors to determine the viability of the embryos beforehand.
- It increases the chances of conception.
- It is also an option for people who are planning to undergo cancer treatment which can affect their fertility.
What are the various steps involved?
Before initiating the procedure, you will be evaluated to make sure that you have a healthy uterus and body to support the pregnancy post-implantation. This also includes a hormonal evaluation to assess the healthy functioning of the thyroid and measure ovarian reserves. IVF procedure is carried out in various steps each of which is equally important. These are as under:
Step I - Ovarian stimulation
This is the first and the foremost step of the IVF procedure which involves the harvesting of as many mature eggs as possible. Since the female reproductive cycle is quite complex, the process of ovarian stimulation, too, is a bit complicated. We suggest that it is mandatory to undergo Fertility testing before initiating the procedure as this helps the doctors to determine a personalized treatment regimen.
Ovarian stimulation is carried out by injecting special medication for around 8 to 14 days, so as to elevate the quality as well quantity of the eggs produced. The medicines, so injected, help to stimulate Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH). The former helps in the production of mature eggs whereas the latter helps to stimulate healthy ovulation.
Step II - Progress evaluation
Once the ovarian stimulation is started, follicular and egg growth is monitored very thoroughly as the whole procedure requires proper timing and care. You will be required to undergo regular tests to make sure that the treatment is progressing very smoothly and to enable the doctors to take the necessary measures for optimizing egg development and numbers. The intended mother is required to undergo a regular ultrasound and blood tests.
Step III - Egg retrieval
The egg is retrieved 34 to 36 hours post giving the final injection. The whole procedure is carried out under the influence of anaesthesia such that you do not feel any pain or discomfort. The transvaginal ultrasound aspiration technique is used which is carried out with the help of a tiny needle connected to a suction device.There is neither any cut or stitch required for the process.
The eggs are carefully removed from the follicles and collected with the help of the suction device in approximately 20 to 30 minutes. The eggs, thus collected, are preserved in nutritive liquid and incubated to be used for fertilization.
Step IV - Fertilization
Once the eggs are collected, these are carefully examined to evaluate their maturity and quality. The finest quality eggs are separated and placed in an incubator. The eggs are usually fertilized in two ways - conventional insemination or intra-cytoplasmic injection(ICSI treatment). The former involves the placement of a healthy egg in a pool of sperms and the process of fertilization is allowed to take place naturally, however, in the case of the latter, the healthy sperm is directly injected into the healthy ovum for inducing fertilization.
Step VI – Assisted hatching
This is an additional step required in the case of older women. It is a micromanipulation procedure in which a small hole is made in the wall that surrounds the embryo in the initial stages. Normally this membrane dissolves on its own, however, if the doctors feel the need, assisted hatching is done just before the embryo transfer.
Step V - Embryo transfer
The embryo is usually transferred within a week following the egg retrieval. However, in case genetic testing is required or in case hormone levels are not in the optimal range, the intended parents might be required to wait a little longer. Till then, the embryo is frozen and preserved in an IVF lab. After the genetic results are out, the healthy embryo is thawed and placed inside the uterus of the intended mother. The number of embryos produced depends upon various factors including the age of the parents. Earlier multiple embryos were placed simultaneously to increase the success rate of the procedure, however, this increases the chances of multiple pregnancies which sometimes adds to the complications. After this step, the female is required to wait for two weeks during which she is required to be extra careful regarding her health.
Step VII - Pregnancy test
The final step of the procedure is the pregnancy test which is followed by an ultrasound to endure the viability and negate the risks of multiple pregnancies (in case of multiple embryo transfer).
To know if IVF is an option for you, consult our experts today. IVF cost at Medfemme is comparatively low as compared to other areas, making it the leading choice of couples. The success rate at Medfemme is also better owing to the use of latest technologies and evidence based management.