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IVF Guidelines – Things You Should Know

What is IVF?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a procedure in which eggs (ova) from a woman’s ovary are retrieved via a syringe. They are fertilized with sperm (retrieved via masturbation) in a laboratory procedure, and then the fertilized egg (embryo) is returned to the woman’s uterus.

Causes of IVF?

  1. Male-related: low sperm count or decreased motility of the sperm
  2. Female related: ovulation problems, Problems with the uterus or fallopian tubes.
  3. Stress.
  4. Natural body defenses that attack egg or sperm cells

About 1/3rd of infertility cases are due to male fertility problem, another 3rd is due to female fertility problem and the final 3rd are due to either male and female fertility problems or because of unknown causes.

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Steps of IVF (one cycle: lasts 5-6 weeks)

1. Ovarian stimulation:

Your doctor prescribes a course of drugs to stimulate your ovaries to produce 12 to 15 mature eggs.

2. Monitoring of your drug response:

To monitor the progress of your ovarian stimulation you undergo an ultrasound examination and blood tests.

3Egg maturation:

Two days before the collection of your eggs, a hormone injection is used to trigger the maturation of the eggs.

4. Egg collection:

You receive a light general anaesthetic for this simple, short procedure, and your doctor retrieves your eggs using an ultrasound-guided technique.

5. Sperm production:

On the day of egg collection, your partner provides a sperm sample.

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6. Fertilisation:

The embryologist puts sperm and eggs together in the lab and, if all goes well, the eggs fertilise and early embryo development begins.

7. Embryo transfer:

Two to five days after the collection of eggs, your doctor places one or two embryos in your uterus.

8. Embryo freezing:

If you have additional embryos suitable for use, they can be frozen and kept for future transfers.

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9 Pregnancy test:

About two weeks after embryo transfer, you undergo a blood test to find out whether the treatment was successful or not.

  • If the test is positive, you have your first pregnancy scan two weeks later.
  • If the test is negative, you and your partner need to talk to your doctor and decide whether to try the treatment again.

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