IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) is one of the popular assisted reproductive methods used to promote pregnancy. When you decide on IVF treatment for infertility, the IVF path seems to be long and you need to be very patient to get successful results. Though you know the goal of the process is to have a healthy child, knowing what to expect during the process is a bit harder. 

Each case is different and it is difficult to know how successful your IVF cycle will be. Hence, it is important to know how the process works so that you understand what you will experience during the IVF cycle.

What is IVF?

The IVF process involves collecting eggs from the ovaries and then fertilizing them with sperm in a laboratory. Once the embryo is formed, it will be inserted into the woman’s uterus for implantation. IVF is proven to be successful at promoting pregnancy. This is because a woman produces more number of eggs each month and the sperm required for an IVF cycle is also very less.

Though the IVF process seems simple, it consists of a series of steps. It takes around six to eight weeks to complete an IVF cycle. For women, the IVF procedure begins a few weeks earlier.

Steps Involved in IVF Cycle

The following are the different stages or steps of an IVF cycle:

  • Initial consultation: During the initial consultation, the doctor will review the medical history of your partner and yours as well. You can discuss your concerns at this stage. The doctor will conduct diagnostic tests to determine the treatment plan.
  • Pre-treatment preparation: You need to take birth control pills to regulate your menstrual cycle and to prepare the ovaries. You need to use them for about 10 to 14 days before beginning the fertility medications.
  • Fertility medications: Once you have finished taking birth control pills, the doctor will conduct an ultrasound to determine your ovaries and uterus. Fertility medications such as FSH are used to help stimulate the growth of follicles. This lets the ovaries produce a greater number of matured eggs. The number of eggs produced is based on the number of follicles and their size. At this stage, the doctor conducts ultrasounds and blood tests to know about the growth of follicles and eggs.
  • Egg retrieval: Once the ultrasound tests determine that the follicles have grown to a matured size, an hCG injection is administered to promote the maturation of eggs. Now, the eggs will be retrieved from the vagina using ultrasound. Once the eggs are retrieved, you may have mild pelvic pain and soreness. But it gets cured within a few days.
  • Fertilization: Once the eggs are retrieved, the collected eggs will be combined with sperm in a laboratory. An embryologist will look after them and will watch them for signs of fertilization.
  • Embryo culturing and evaluation: Once fertilization takes place, the embryos will be regularly monitored to determine the best embryo for transfer. The embryos will be cultured for 5 days in controlled conditions such as temperature, pH, and gases. You will be updated about the progress of the embryos using daily lab reports of IVF. You need to take progesterone at this stage to prepare your uterine lining for the transfer and pregnancy.
  • Embryo transfer: In most cases, the embryo transfer is performed on the fifth day of embryo culture. The embryo transfer is a one-day procedure and it takes around 30 minutes. The highest-graded embryos are selected and loaded into a catheter. Then, they will be inserted into the uterus from the catheter. The remaining embryos can be frozen for future use.
  • Pregnancy test: Two weeks after embryo transfer, you can take a pregnancy test to know if the process is successful. If the result is positive, another pregnancy test will be conducted after one week. If the second test is also positive, an ultrasound will be performed after two to three weeks.

How Successful is an IVF Cycle?

The IVF procedure is successful at promoting pregnancy. The chances of conception with the IVF cycle are around 50% for a woman under 35 years of age. The percentage of success decrease as the woman’s age increase. 

The success of the IVF procedure is based on:

  • The general health of the couple
  • The reproductive health of the female partner
  • Age
  • The quality of the embryo
  • The quantity and quality of the sperm
  • The method used
  • The hospital expertise

Want to Know if IVF is Suitable for You? Schedule an Appointment with Fertility Specialists at Angels Fertility

If you have been trying for pregnancy for more than six months without any success, then fertility specialists at Angels Fertility can help you. We have experienced fertility specialists and gynaecologists who can help you with your condition. Our doctors will first try to determine the underlying cause of infertility and will focus on treating the condition through medications. If medications do not help, we would suggest undergoing IVF to fulfil your dream of becoming parents. To know more about us, call us or fill out the online form.