In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproductive technology that facilitates the fertilization of an egg and sperm under laboratory conditions. The female egg and male sperm are mixed in a specialized culture medium for a successful fertilization. The procedure uses high graded embryos and quality sperms for fertilization and is reintroduced to the recipient’s uterus at a multicell embryo stage.
Steps of the IVF process
The IVF treatments cover the following steps:
- Your Initial Consultation: During the initial consultation, the specialist reviews the complete medical history and creates a customized IVF treatment plan.
- Pretreatment Preparation: Pretreatment Preparation: Pretreatment blood tests are conducted to determine hormone levels, a semen analysis to understand the shape, size and motility rate of sperms and a uterine assessment to evaluate the uterine condition and ovulation process. The results of pretreatment testing are analyzed before finalizing the treatment protocol.
- Start of Pills: the treatment plan is initiated by administering oral contraceptive pills on day two to four of the menstrual cycle and is continued for two to five weeks.
- IVF Coordinator Consultation: This appointment provides an overview of the IVF process and reviews the treatment protocol to help plan the calendar accordingly.
- Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation: The IVF treatment cycle begins with the administration of ovarian stimulation to release multiple mature eggs from the ovary during the ovulation process. When the follicles reached the ideal size and maturity they are retrieved through a minor surgical procedure.
- Monitoring Visits: Around 3 to 5 monitoring visits are required to perform the ultrasound scans for assessing and monitoring the egg development and hormone levels.
- Ovidrel or Lupron/hCG: Ovidrel is a special medication that is administered 36 hours before the egg retrieval procedure.
- Transvaginal Retrieval of Eggs and IVF Laboratory: Transvaginal egg retrieval is a minimally invasive ultrasound-guided procedure performed to retrieve the eggs. The procedure uses a thin long needle that is passed through the vaginal wall into the ovary and aspirates the follicles from each ovary collecting the follicular fluid in test tubes. The embryologist obtains the eggs from the fluid and are cleaned, counted, and placed in a sterile medium in an incubator. Later that day, the healthiest eggs are fertilized with sperm either by standard insemination or Intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
- Embryo Culture and Assessment: Once the egg and sperm fertilize and develop an embryo they are cultured for up to six days in a temperature-controlled incubator and each day the embryos are evaluated for quality and development. The evaluation results help to determine the appropriate day for embryo transfer. Typically embryo transfer is performed on 3rd or 5th day of embryo culture or on 6th day in case of PGS/PGD tests.
- Embryo or Blastocyst Transfer: The healthiest embryo(s) is transferred into the uterus on day three, five or six for implantation based on the discussion with the couples to provide the highest probability of success and for the lowest probability of multiple births. The embryos are loaded into the embryo catheter via microscopic video and are transferred into the uterus to complete the IVF treatment phase.
- Pregnancy Test: A pregnancy test will be conducted after 10-12 days following the embryo transfer. For a positive pregnancy test result, an obstetrical ultrasound is scheduled to confirm the implantation of the embryo(s) and fetal heart motion.
Rathimed Fertility Centre offers most advanced and successful IVF treatment strategies that are customized as per patient condition and all procedures of an IVF cycle are performed on-site in our state-of-the-art facilities. To know more about the IVF cycle and your chances for conception, book an appointment now.