IVF is considered the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology. The procedure is conducted using the patient’s eggs and her partner’s sperm. In some cases, the IVF procedure may involve using sperm or embryos from a donor. IVF is also used when a couple needs to use a surrogate – a woman who has an embryo implanted in her uterus and carries the baby to term.
One cycle of IVF takes about two weeks and the procedure involves several steps:
IVF is performed to treat infertility, after trying less invasive treatment options, including fertility drugs for the formation of egg or IUI (Intrauterine Insemination – when sperm are placed directly in the uterus near the time of ovulation.)
Often, IVF is used as a primary treatment for infertility in women over 40.
IVF may also be done in cases where there is:
Before beginning a cycle of IVF the patient and her partner will need to go through several tests:
At Motherhood Hospitals’ IVF Center, two embryos are usually transferred into the patient’s uterus and any extra embryos can be frozen for future use. Not all embryos will survive the freezing and thawing process, although most will.
Embryo transfer is a painless procedure It is done without anesthesia. In some rare conditions, anesthesia might be required if sp, the doctor will inform you, prior to the procedure.
Cryopreservation or freezing can make future cycles of IVF less expensive and less invasive.
IVF involves several steps: ovulation induction, egg retrieval, sperm retrieval, fertilisation and embryo transfer. One cycle of IVF takes about two weeks and sometimes, more than one cycle may be required.
STEP 1: Controlled Ovarian Hyper stimulation
The patient will be treated with synthetic hormones to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs rather than the single egg that normally develops each month. Multiple eggs are needed as some eggs don’t fertilise or develop normally after fertilisation.
The patient may be given medications:
It usually takes one to two weeks of ovarian stimulation before eggs are ready for retrieval. To determine when the eggs are ready for collection, the following checks are performed:
Vaginal ultrasound: this helps monitor the development of follicles where eggs mature.
Sometimes IVF cycles may be cancelled before egg retrieval because of:
If the IVF cycle is cancelled, the IVF specialist might recommend changing medications or doses to promote a better response in future IVF cycles. In some cases, the patient might be asked to consider an egg donor.
STEP 2: OPU (Ooctye/Egg pick-up) and Sperm retrieval
Egg pick-up or OPU is usually done 34 to 36 hours after the final injection and before ovulation. The OPU procedure is a day-care procedure done under anaesthesia, and is usually completed within 10 to 20 minutes. It is a simple surgical procedure performed under the guidance of ultrasound.
Some patients might experience cramp-like pains on the day of process which subside by the next day.
A sperm sample is sought from the patient’s partner on the morning of egg retrieval. Donor sperm also can be used. The sperm are then separated from the semen fluid in the lab.
STEP 3: Fertilisation and Incubation
Fertilization is attempted using two methods:
In cases of severe male infertility, the embryologist can inject a single sperm directly into the egg by a process called
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection or ICSI.
In ICSI, a single healthy sperm is injected directly into each mature egg. ICSI is used when semen quality or number is low or when fertilisation attempts have failed during prior IVF cycles failed.
Fertility medications are usually prescribed to stimulate ovaries to produce multiple mature eggs. With a transvaginal ultrasound-guided needle, the eggs are removed from the patients’ ovaries and placed in a petri dish for fertilisation. If her partner’s semen does not contain enough motile sperm, sperm can be extracted from a testicle with a needle. If a sperm sample reveals too few sperm, a biopsy can be taken from testicular tissue in hopes that there will be sperm attached.
Next, a single sperm is injected directly into each individual egg.
The next day the eggs are checked to see if fertilisation was successful. The fertilized eggs will remain in the petri dish for a few days as they continue to divide and become early embryos. Using a thin catheter, the doctor then places the embryos into the uterus.
The full IVF cycle takes about 15 to 20 days to complete – from the first day of treatment until embryo transfer.
STEP 4: Embryo transfer
Embryo transfer is usually done two to five days after egg retrieval.
The patient can have a light breakfast before the procedure.
If successful, an embryo will implant in the lining of your uterus 6 to 10 days after egg retrieval.
After the procedure.
Post the procedure, you will be moved to a recovery room to rest and have a meal. You can return home after 2 hours. Once home you can go about normal activities but be sure not to lift or carry anything that’s heavy. You will also be asked to try avoiding vigorous activity, as it may cause discomfort.
About 15 days after embryo transfer, the IVF specialist will advise a blood test to detect pregnancy. Success of IVF ranges from 38% to 40% at our center.
Doctors: Dr. Nethra K & Dr. Varija Unit: Motherhood Banashankari. This was my first delivery. The overall experience from Motherhood hospital was really good. Every doctors and staff are very caring and supportive, Especially Dr.Read more
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