In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an intricate series of procedures used to treat fertility or genetic problems and assist with the conception of a child. It is one of the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology. The procedure can be done using your own eggs and your partner's sperm or eggs, sperm or embryos from a known or anonymous donor can be involved.
Step 1: Induction of Ovulation
The fertility specialist will monitor your ovaries and the timing of the egg release before and during the in vitro fertilization process. It will be assured that your ovaries are producing eggs, and that your hormone levels are normal, among other procedures. Fertility medicines or hormones are prescribed to some women at this time to stimulate the ovaries to produce one or more eggs. Having several eggs open for IVF will increase the chances of getting pregnant.
If you cannot produce any eggs, talk to your doctor about donor eggs for the IVF process.
Step 2: Egg Retrieval
During the second step of the IVF process, pain medication such as pain killers or injections is given to reduce any pain or discomfort. After which a very thin needle is passed through the upper vaginal wall. With the use of vaginal ultrasound, fluid is extracted from the follicles under gentle suction.
Immediately after aspiration of the follicle, the oocyte (egg) is separated from the follicular fluid. The egg is placed in a culture dish containing nutrient media and then shifted to the incubator.
Step 3: Fertilization
The third step of the IVF process is the fertilization of the egg. A sample sperm is secured, either from the donor or the partner, and the most active sperm is mixed with the egg in a special chamber. Many times the sperm is directly injected into the egg. After which, the sperm and egg are placed in an incubator and observed to make sure that a healthy embryo develops.
Step 4: Embryo Transfer and Implantation
The fourth and the final step of the IVF process is the embryo transfer. In this process First of all, the embryos are examined to select the healthiest ones for transfer. To transfer the embryo(s), a speculum is placed into your vagina and the embryo(s) are transferred through a small plastic tube placed through the cervix into the uterine cavity. After the completion of the IVF process, generally bed rest is advised for around 24 hours.
Embryo transfer is easy and simple procedure that follows in vitro fertilization (IVF) and is normally considered the simplest and final step of the in vitro fertilization process. The purpose of embryo transfer is to simplify conception following fertilization from the in vitro fertilization procedure.
Embryos are normally transferred to the woman’s uterus at the 2-8 cell stage. After the retrieval of the egg embryos can be transferred anytime between day1 through day 6, although it is generally between days 2-4. Some clinics are now allowing the embryo to reach blastocysts stage before transferring, which occurs on 5th day around.
Risks associated with the Embryo Transfer:
There are minimum risks related with the embryo transfer procedure. The process include the loss of the embryos during transfer or implanting the embryos in the wrong place such as the fallopian tubes. However, some women experience mild cramping, the procedure is usually painless.