Step by Step Procedure of IVF Treatment
The steps followed by an IVF specialist for infertility treatment are as follows:
Step 1: Ovarian stimulation
The woman is kept on the fertility medications for one to two weeks. A fertility drug is given to stimulate the ovary to develop many matured eggs. This is because some eggs will not fertilize after retrieval.
Step 2: Follicle development
The hormone levels of the woman is checked on a regular basis on the gap of two to three days. A transvaginal ultrasound is done. It examines the ovaries and monitor the development of the follicles.
Step 3: Activating the oocytes
The woman is given the trigger shot. It is an injection which causes the eggs to mature completely. The egg becomes capable of fertilization. Its ready to be retrieved through surgical procedure after about 36 hours of the trigger shot.
Step 4: Gathering the eggs
The doctor anesthetizes the woman. An ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina leading up to the ovaries. A thin needle is used to collect the eggs from the follicles. Usually, 10 to 15 eggs are retrieved and relocated for fertilization in the embryology lab.
Step 5: Fertilization
Embryologist examines the egg for an overnight incubation with the partner’s sperm. Fertilization usually happens within this time in the healthy or normal eggs.
Step 6: Embryo development
After three days of retrieval, the fertilized eggs will become six to ten celled embryos. A few embryos out of these will become blastocysts by the 5th day.
Step 7: Selection of the embryo
The most viable embryo is selected by the embryologist. Extra embryos are preserved by freezing them for the future IVF cycles.
Step 8: Embryo implantation
After five days of the retrieval, the fertilized eggs are placed in the uterus by inserting a catheter through the cervix. Embryos is transferred in the presence of some fluid.
Step 9: Successful implantation
In the case of successful implantation, the embryo continues to grow into a baby. A pregnancy test is conducted after 15 days of the embryo transfer. The doctor will keep the woman on progesterone supplements for a few weeks in the case of successful implantation.
The chances of pregnancy become higher if more than one embryo is transferred. But it may also lead to multiple pregnancies. About 20 percent of the newborns through IVF are twins or triplets.