How is In Vitro Fertilization (ivf) Done?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) used to treat infertility in couples. In this process, mature eggs are retrieved from the ovaries of the female partner and fertilized with the sperm in a laboratory dish. The fertilized eggs or embryos are then transferred into the female partner's uterus.

How is In Vitro Fertilization (ivf) Done?
How is In Vitro Fertilization (ivf) Done?

How is In Vitro Fertilization (ivf) Done?

IVF  is conducted  in a series  of steps, which  may include  :-


1.   Ovarian stimulation :

 The female  partner is given fertility  drugs to stimulate the  ovaries to produce  multiple eggs. Ovarian  stimulation is a key  step in  in-vitro fertilization (IVF)  treatment, where the  female partner is given  fertility medication to  stimulate the ovaries to  produce multiple  eggs. This medication  triggers the development of  ovarian follicles,  each containing an  egg that can be  retrieved for fertilization.  Ovarian stimulation  helps increase the chances  of IVF success  by increasing the  number of mature  eggs available for  fertilization. The  medication and dosage required  depend on individual  factors such as age,  hormone levels, and  medical history. Close  monitoring is required  during ovarian stimulation  to ensure that the  ovaries are responding  correctly and to  avoid complications like  Ovarian Hyper stimulation  Syndrome (OHSS).


2. Egg retrieval :

The eggs are retrieved from the ovaries using a needle and ultrasound guidance. Egg retrieval is a medical procedure that involves the removal of mature eggs from the follicles within the ovaries using a thin needle. It is a necessary step during in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment, as the eggs retrieved are then fertilized outside of the body with the partner’s or donor’s sperm. The egg retrieval process is typically performed under sedation or anesthesia to make it more comfortable for the patient. Using ultrasound, a doctor guides a needle through the vaginal wall and into each ovarian follicle, where it aspirates the eggs. The procedure typically takes around 20-30 minutes, and while mild cramping and bloating are common, most women can return to normal activities within a day or two. The eggs are immediately treated and prepared for fertilization, which usually takes place within hours of retrieval.


3. Sperm collection :

 The male partner produces a  semen sample, which is  then processed  and prepared in  the laboratory to  isolate the healthiest and  most motile sperm.  Sperm collection is  the process of  obtaining semen  from the male partner  or a donor in order  to use it in assisted  reproductive techniques like  in-vitro fertilization (IVF). There  are several methods  for collecting  semen, including  masturbation, electrostimulation,  and surgical sperm retrieval.  Masturbation is the  most common method, where the  male partner is given a  private room and asked to  ejaculate into a collection cup. The  semen is then evaluated  for parameters like  sperm count, motility, and  morphology, to determine the  viability and suitability  for use in IVF. In  certain cases, surgical  sperm retrieval  may be necessary if the  male partner has  a reproductive blockage or  severe sperm  abnormalities. Surgical  sperm retrieval involves  the use of a needle or  surgical procedure to  extract sperm directly from the  testicle or epididymis. The collected  sperm is then processed  and prepared for  fertilization, typically  on the same day as  the egg retrieval.


   4. Fertilization  :

 The best quality sperm  are combined with  the eggs in a  laboratory dish, and  the fertilization  process is closely  monitored. Fertilization is  the process of joining the  egg and sperm in  a laboratory  dish to form an  embryo. Fertilization typically  takes place within  a few hours of egg  retrieval, and the  eggs and sperm are combined  in a petri  dish or a specialized  culture media. The eggs are  then checked within  18-24 hours after fertilization  to ensure that the  cells are dividing correctly, and that a  new embryo is  developing. Once  fertilization is  successful, the fertilized  eggs may be cultured in  the laboratory for several  days before being transferred  to the uterus. In some cases,  pre-implantation  genetic testing (PGT) may  be performed before the  embryo is transferred. This process  helps identify genetic  abnormalities or chromosomal  disorders to ensure the  transfer of a healthy  embryo, which  increases the chances of  pregnancy success.


  5.  Embryo culture  :

 The fertilized eggs are  allowed to develop in a laboratory  dish for a few days until they  reach the blastocyst stage. Embryo culture  is the process of developing embryos in  a laboratory to monitor their growth  and assess their quality before performing  embryo transfer. After  fertilization, the embryos are  placed in a special culture media and kept in  a controlled environment that  mimics the conditions in the female  reproductive system. The embryos  are monitored and  evaluated for their progress,  including the number of cells, cell  division, and the  structure of the  embryo. Embryo culture  can last from  two to six days before  the embryo transfer, depending on the individual needs of the  patient. The embryos  that develop successfully  and have good quality can  be transferred to the  uterus, while others  can be frozen for  future use. Embryo  culture is an essential  part of the in-vitro fertilization  (IVF) process and helps improve  the chances  of pregnancy success.


    6. Embryo transfer :

 Embryo transfer  is the process of placing one  or more embryos into the uterus  after they have been  developed in a laboratory  through in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The  procedure aims to help women  who struggle with  infertility to become  pregnant. Embryo  transfer typically  happens three to  five days after fertilization, once  the embryo has  reached the right  stage of development, and  its quality  has been  assessed. The procedure is  usually done using a  thin flexible  catheter that is  guided through  the cervix and into  the uterus, where the  embryo is released. Embryo  transfer is a relatively short  and minimally invasive  procedure, with mild cramping and  bloating being the  most common side  effects. Following  embryo transfer, the  patient is advised  to rest for a  few minutes  and avoid strenuous  activities. The  embryos will  continue to grow  in the uterus, and a  successful implantation  can lead to  pregnancy.


However, IVF is an expensive and often emotionally challenging process that may require multiple attempts before achieving a successful pregnancy.


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