Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about IVF - In Vitro Fertilization and other Infertility topics.
When a woman, or couple, and the Fertility Specialist determine that in vitro fertilization is the treatment of choice, there are several steps that must be taken to promote the greatest chance of success.
The primary steps in in vitro fertilization include:
1. Counseling - you will discuss the IVF process, risks and benefits, and outcome goals. Treatment consents will be signed, which may include consents for IVF and embryo transfer, micro-insemination, cryopreservation of resultant embryos and psychological treatment/evaluation.
2. Semen analysis - semen samples will be analyzed for: volume and consistently, sperm count, motility, structure and survivability
3. Testing - including ultrasound and hormone levels to establish baseline uterine and hormonal status, for the syncing of your IVF cycle
4. Fertility drugs - hormones will be provided to the woman, to stimulate egg production, including superovulation, where the ovaries produce more than one egg during a cycle. A greater number of eggs increases the chances for a successful IVF. Drugs will be added at different times during the IVF cycle, to prepare the uterus for implantation, promote egg and follicle development, and aid in egg retrieval or harvesting.
5. Egg Retrieval - eat or drink nothing 8 hours prior to your retrieval. Ultrasound is used to guide the needle as it enters the ovary for harvest, through the vaginal wall.
6. Fertilization - concentrated sperm is introduced to your eggs, in a petri dish or test tube
7. Transfer - with the use of a speculum, the procedure is similar to a Pap smear. An ultrasound guides placement of the embryos inside the uteris.
The steps related to IVF are fairly consistent, regardless of the Fertility Clinic that you use, due to the sequential nature of the human body in terms of fertility. Following the guidelines and instructions of your Fertility Specialist, will help to promote positive outcomes following IVF.