Understanding In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Process in 6 Steps
Have you been trying to get pregnant with no success? Then, you may be wondering whether In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is your next step. But, you’re not sure what it entails. You’ve seen IVF in the news and on the celebrity blogs, but what is it? This article breaks IVF down into 6 easy to understand steps.
Step 1: Consultation with a Reproductive Endocrinologist (REI)
First, you need to be evaluated for infertility. A specialist will know exactly what to look for and determine whether something fairly simple such as fibroids or a hormone imbalance is keeping you from becoming pregnant, or whether something more complex needs to be addressed.
Step 2: Ovulation induction
Before and during the in vitro fertilization process, your fertility specialist will monitor your ovaries and the timing of the egg release. The doctor will make sure that your ovaries are producing eggs, and that your hormone levels are normal, among other procedures.
Most women take fertility medicines or hormones at this time to stimulate the ovaries to produce one or more eggs. Having several eggs available for IVF will increase the chances that you will get pregnant.
If you cannot produce any eggs, talk to your doctor about the donor IVF.
Step 3: Egg Retrieval
During this step in the IVF process, pain medication is given to reduce any discomfort. Then a very thin needle is passed through the upper vaginal wall. With the use of vaginal ultrasound, fluid is removed from the follicles under gentle suction. Immediately after aspiration of the follicle, the oocyte (egg) is isolated from the follicular fluid. The egg is placed in a culture dish containing nutrient media and then transferred to the incubator.
Step 4: Fertilization
The next step of the IVF process is the fertilization of the egg. A sperm sample is secured, either from your partner or a donor, and the most active sperm is mixed with the egg in a special chamber. Sometimes the sperm is directly injected into the egg. Then, the sperm and egg are placed in an incubator and monitored to make sure that a healthy embryo develops.
Step 5: Embryo transfer and Implantation
The final step of the IVF process is the embryo transfer. First, 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 via a small plastic tube placed through the cervix into the uterine cavity. After the IVF process is complete, bed rest is often advised for around 24 hours.
Step 6: Rest and Repeat
Even among the best IVF practices, like ours, success on the first try is not a given. Across the world, patients are counseled to prepare for the emotional and financial cost of multiple cycles. That is why it is very, very important to choose an infertility practice that is known for highly personalized, emotionally supportive staff and offers a wide range of financial assistance options.
If you are considering in vitro fertilization as an alternative to struggling on your own to become pregnant, you should schedule a no-pressure, no-obligation consultation with Dr Morgan, one of the best IVF doctors in NJ.
Call 732.363.4777 or visit our Get Started page to request an appointment online.