In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

In-Vitro fertilization is a process in which the eggs are fertilized by sperm outside the body in a laboratory. The first IVF was performed in 1978. The baby “Louise Brown” was the first to be born through this technique. Once the IVF results are positive, the embryo is transferred physically into the uterus.

What are the different steps of IVF?

IVF is basically done in five steps:

1-    First step: Fertility medications are administered to the woman to induce ovulation and produce several eggs. Usually this phase is monitored by ultrasound to examine the ovaries and the eggs. An HCG injection will be done to help the process of maturation. 24h after the injection, the eggs will be ready to be extracted.
2-    Second step: Once the eggs are ready, a small surgical operation guided by ultrasound will be done during which the eggs are extracted through a hollow needle.
3-    Third step: The partner will be asked during that day to produce two different semen samples.
4-    Fourth step: The eggs taken from the woman and the sperm from its partner will be placed in one incubator where fertilization occurs. In some cases where fertilization is taking long time or low, an ICSI (Intra Cytoplasm Sperm Injection) may be completed. The process will be monitored by a microscope until cell division occurs. At this time, the fertilized eggs will be called embryos.
5-    Fifth step: The embryos will be inserted through the cervix to the uterus in 2 to 4 days after incubation. Some women experience mild abdominal cramps during this process. The woman will be under bed rest and supervised closely for pregnancy symptoms. An ultrasound will determine the implantation of the egg.

You will have to wait around 12 days to perform a pregnancy test. If positive, the doctor will prescribe progesterone tablets to take for at least during the first trimester. An ultrasound will be done to determine the number of living embryos. Sometimes it is more than 4!