In vitro fertilization (IVF) helps with fertilization, embryonic development, and implantation, so you can get pregnant.
How does IVF work?
IVF means in vitro fertilization. It is one of the best-known types of assisted reproduction technology (ART). IVF works by using a combination of medications and surgical procedures to help sperm fertilize an egg and implant fertilized eggs in the uterus.
First, he takes medications that make several of his eggs mature and are ready for fertilization. Then, the doctor removes the ovules from his body and mixes them with sperm in a laboratory, to help the sperm fertilize the ovules. Then they put 1 or more fertilized eggs (embryos) directly into the uterus. Pregnancy occurs if any of the embryos are implanted in the lining of your uterus.
IVF has many steps and it takes several months to complete the entire process. Sometimes it works on the first attempt, but many people need more than 1 round of IVF to get pregnant. IVF definitely increases your chances of pregnancy if you have fertility problems, but there is no guarantee: each person’s body is different and IVF will not work for everyone.
What is the IVF process?
The first step in IVF is to take fertility medications for several months to help the ovaries produce several mature and ready-to-fertilize ovules. This is called ovulation induction. You may have a regular ultrasound or blood tests to measure your hormone levels and track your egg production.
Once your ovaries have produced enough mature ovules, your doctor removes the ovules from your body (this is called egg retrieval). Ovum removal is a minor surgical procedure that is performed in your doctor’s office or in a fertility clinic.
You will receive medications to help you be relaxed and comfortable during the procedure. Using an ultrasound to see inside your body, the doctor places a thin, hollow tube through your vagina and into the ovary and the follicles that support your ovules. The needle is connected to a suction device that gently removes the ovules from each follicle.
In a laboratory, your eggs are mixed with the sperm of your partner or donor; This is called insemination. The eggs and sperm are stored together in a special container and fertilization occurs. For sperm that have lower motility (they don’t swim too), they can be injected directly into the ovules to promote fertilization. As the cells in the fertilized ovules divide and become embryos, people who work in the laboratory monitor progress.
Approximately 3-5 days after the egg is removed, 1 or more embryos are placed in the uterus (this is called embryo transfer). The doctor slides a thin tube through the cervix to the uterus and inserts the embryo directly into the uterus through the tube.
Pregnancy occurs if any of the embryos adhere to the lining of the uterus. Embryo transfer is done in your doctor’s office or in a fertility clinic and is usually not painful.
Plan to rest for the rest of the day after embryo transfer. You can also take pills or get daily injections of a hormone called progesterone during the first 8-10 weeks after embryo transfer. The hormones make it easier for the embryo to survive in the uterus.