It is a very traumatic situation for couples who are unable to bear child naturally and for such people ‘In Vitro Fertilization’ has arrived as a boon for them in the current scenario of medical technology. In Vitro Fertilization(IVF) refers to the process wherein the egg is fertilized through sperm in a petri dish outside the body and after the few days of fertilization when the egg transforms into an embryo, it is embedded in the mother’s uterus via catheter.
There are several kinds of IVF treatments available in the market which are as follows:
- Ovarian hyperstimulation
- Transvaginal oocyte retrieval
- Embryo Transfer
- Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection
- IVF using Donor Ooctye
In this blog post, I will give you a step by step breakdown of the procedure involved in In Vitro Fertilization treatments.
Step 1– Before the scheduling of IVF treatment, females are usually put on birth control pills. These pills are recommended because they reduce the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and also improve the rates of success.
Step 2– The IVF treatment cycle begins the day you start getting your periods. On the subsequent day, your doctor will arrange a blood test and ultrasound for you. While blood test is done to examine estrogen levels and make sure that your ovaries are inactive, ultrasound will determine the your ovary size and detect ovarian cysts if any. If there is a cyst, your doctor will postpone the procedure for the next few days or can suck it with the help of a needle alternatively.
Step 3– After your blood test and ultrasound results are found normal, ovarian stimulation via fertility drugs is the next step. You may require to take 1 to 4 injections per day for around a week depending upon your treatment procedure. The commonly prescribed fertility drugs are cleaned, Femera, Follistim and Lupron. Through Ovarian stimulation, your doctor estimates whether the medication dosage should be increased or not.
Step 4– Fourth step of IVF is activating the oocytes for leading them to the final maturation stage for egg retrieval. It is very important to estimate the right time of giving the trigger shot and daily ultrasounds help at this point. The human chorionic gonadotropin injection is given when more than 4 follicles grow up to a length of a minimum 18 mm.
Step 5– After 3 days of receiving the hCG injection, your egg is being retrieved. Before the retrieval process, a light soporific is given to you to make you sleep. After the medication shows its effect, a transvaginal ultrasound will be conducted wherein a needle will be inserted via the back side of your vagina leading up to the ovaries. The needle is used to aspirate fluid and Ooctye from the follicle which are later relocated for fertilization in the embryology lab.
Step 6– After the Oocytes are being retrieved, the embryologist will examine them. Over maturation of eggs is not good for the fertilization process. However if the eggs have not matured accurately, they might be stimulated to maturity in the lab.
Step 7– Post 5 days of the retrieval, the fertilized eggs are transmitted to the female uterus via catheter. The embryos are transferred along with some fluid. After the transfer procedure ends, you are kept in bed for the few hours following which allowed to go home.
Step 8– After two weeks of the embryo transfer, a pregnancy test is being conducted and if the result is positive, your doctor will put you on progesterone supplements for a few more weeks.
For most patients, IVF is the most effective treatment, but it’s very much underutilized