IVF is a wonderful process that has brought hope to many people’s lives. Couples with no children have got a huge relief from this science. This is a complex series of procedures to help with fertility or to prevent genetic problems.
IVF is a process in which mature eggs are collected from the ovaries and then fertilized in a lab with the sperms. Once the egg gets fertilized, it will be transferred into the uterus. This whole cycle takes over three weeks.
In simple words, IVF is a process that can be used to treat infertility in different cases such as, blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, male factor infertility, women with ovulation disorders, genetic disorders, and so on.
Steps Included in IVF Process
Let us discuss IVF step by step:
Step 1: Testing and Ovarian Stimulation
Before starting the IVF process, the candidate has to go through a uterus and fallopian tubes test. This is important to make sure there are no additional complications that need surgical treatment.
This can be detected with the help of pre-cycle testing, which includes hormonal evaluation to assess thyroid function and ovarian reserve, screening both partners for sexually transmitted infection, and semen analysis of the male partner.
Women take fertility medicines for 8-14 days for ovarian stimulation. Ovarian stimulation is used to mature eggs for egg retrieval. Egg retrieval needs 10-20 mature eggs for retrieval because not all of them are viable to use in the IVF process. Only two-thirds have accurate maturity.
Step 2: Egg Retrieval
The candidate will have surgery to remove the eggs from follicles in ovaries. This surgery is performed after 34-36 hours of receiving the trigger shot and before the eggs ovulate. Egg retrieval is performed by using a needle overseen by transvaginal ultrasonography. Follicular fluids are scanned by the embryologist to locate all available eggs.
The patient will not feel any pain during the process as she will be under sedation. After that, the follicular fluid contents are extracted using gentle suction, that brings the egg along in the fluid. The fluid from the follicles will be kept in a small test tube which will be handed to the embryologist.
The eggs are placed in a special media and cultured in an incubator until insemination. This process takes about 30 minutes.
Step 3: Fertilisation
Under this step, around 50,000 to 1,00,000 motile sperm are transferred to the dish containing the eggs, called standard insemination. Then, ICSI technology is used to fertilize mature eggs. A high-power microscope is used to perform this step.
Then, the embryologist picks up a single spermatozoon with the help of a fine glass microneedle and directly injected it into the egg cytoplasm.
Fertilization is appraised 16 – 18 hours after ICSI. After that, the zygotes are cultured in a special culture medium that supports their growth. Zygotes are assessed on the second and third days after retrieval.
Step 4: Embryo Transfer
The next step is the Embryo Transfer means putting fertilized eggs back into women’s uterus or fallopian tubes. This could be done anywhere between 1-6 days after egg retrieval. The embryologist and doctor will decide when to perform embryo transfer, based on the rate of development and appearance of the embryos, which and how many embryos are recommended to be transferred.
The eggs will be transferred on the 3rd day when they are at the cleavage stage, or on the 5th day when the eggs have reached the blastocyst stage. Embryo Transfer is not a painful process. The eggs are located in a soft catheter and placed in the uterine cavity through the cervix.
Step 5: Assisted Hatching
This step is generally used for older women with frozen/thawed embryos. In this step, a micromanipulation procedure is required where a hole is made in the flexible shell that surrounds the cells of the early embryo. This step is performed before the embryo transfer.
Step 6: Pregnancy Test
Usually, after 12 days of embryo transfer, the doctor will do a blood pregnancy test to confirm the pregnancy. If the pregnancy is confirmed, the candidate will be followed by blood tests and ultrasound. In case the pregnancy appears normal, the candidate will be referred back to the obstetrician.
In the above article, we have tried to explain the steps involved in the IVF process. This is a complex process that treats infertility conditions. Credihealth aims to spread awareness related to different procedures like IVF. We hope the second part of KnowIVF is helpful for you.
To know more about this unique and extraordinary approach, stay tuned to KnowIVF.
For more information and free personalized guidance, speak to Credihealth medical expert at +918010994994 or click the link below to book an appointment with India’s Best IVF Specialist.