If you are struggling with infertility, and are considering IVF, you will definitely want to understand the process well before beginning. Here is the IVF process explained in 7 steps
out of every 6 couples in Australia struggles with infertility. This simply
means that the couple is struggling with conceiving a pregnancy.
It is a very
unfortunate truth and can be very difficult for the couples dealing with it as
many of them desperately want a baby and just simply are unable to naturally
Fortunately, there is hope
for these couples through fertility treatment!
There are many levels of
fertility treatment and there is a different approach that will work best for
every individual couple. One thing that is sometimes used to help a couple struggling
with infertility to conceive a child is called in vitro fertilization, often
shortened to IVF.
What Exactly is IVF?
IVF is a process used in the treatment of infertility.
Simply put, it is conceiving an embryo
outside of the mother’s body in a dish before placing the embryo back into
the mother’s body in hopes that it implants and grows.
Depending on the
circumstances, the egg and sperm used may be that of the perspective parents,
or they may be that of donors. There may also be a combination where the egg is
from the perspective mother and the sperm is from a donor or vice versa.
a fairly long and complicated process that has no guarantee of results, but it is often a couple’s best chance at
having a child and when it is successful, the parents certainly agree that it
is completely worth it.
What is the Process of IVF?
If you are struggling with infertility, and are
considering IVF, you will definitely want to understand the process well before
The first step will be to get a referral from your regular doctor in
order to see an IVF specialist. They will be able to discuss everything you
need to know and help you understand the process that you will need to go
through for IVF. This is also when you will be able to learn about the costs of
It can often be very expensive,
sometimes costing thousands of dollars for a round of IVF. You may get some help
with Medicaid rebates and if you have private insurance, they may coversome
aspects of treatment as well.
#1 Preparing for IVF
Before you ever even begin the IVF treatment process,
you will most likely be instructed to begin
taking a prenatal vitamin and possibly other supplements as well. These are
things that your doctor or specialist will discuss with you.
You should also adopt a healthier lifestyle as if you are
already pregnant. This can help prepare you for the treatment, and
hopefully for the pregnancy.
#2 Initial Hormone Injections
To start the process of IVF, you will have to receive
These will be daily
injections, so typically you would be trained to give them to yourself. Some women are uncomfortable with this, and
if that is the case, your partner can be trained to give them to you instead.
The purpose of these hormone injections is to stimulate your ovaries into producing more eggs than it typically would
with a natural cycle. By causing your body to produce these extra eggs, more
eggs will be able to be collected which can give a higher chance of
successfully creating and implanting an embryo.
During this period of time,
while you are giving yourself these initial injections, you will be closely monitored using blood tests and
ultrasounds. This will help to understand how your hormone levels are doing
as well as when your eggs are mature enough to be harvested.
#3 Collection of the Eggs
Once your eggs are ready for collection, you will be
given another injection to trigger the ovulation of the matured eggs so they
are able to be collected.
Approximately 36 hours after receiving this injection
that triggers your ovulation, the eggs should be collected. For the eggs to be
collected, you will need to be given a mild
sedative in addition to a local anesthetic in your vagina. Then, your
doctor will insert a needle through your vagina into your ovary to collect your
eggs.They will use ultrasound to see what they are doing and place the needle
Once the eggs are collected, they will be evaluated for maturity
and quality in order to decide which are the best choices to fertilze.
Usually, at the same time that you are undergoing the
procedure to collect your eggs, your partner (or a sperm donor) will be asked to give a sperm sample. This is done by your partner (or the sperm donor) ejaculating into a container.
The sperm will need to be evaluated to make sure
that they are suitable for fertilization. The egg and sperm will be put
together in a dish along with a special substance that provides nutrition and
is similar to what is found in your uterus.
After being left in an incubator
overnight, the eggs are checked on to see if they have been fertilized or not. Some of the eggs may not become fertilized,
or may become fertilized and then not grow properly.
That is why there is a
higher chance of success when more eggs are able to be collected.
About 5 or so days after
fertilization, he embryo is placed in a thin tube and the tube is then inserted
through your vagina, through your cervix, and up into your uterus. It is then
left in your uterus.
You will continue to receive hormone treatments to ensure
the best possible conditions for your embryo to implant and begin growing.
#6 Freezing Embryos
It used to be common to place multiple embryos in the
uterus at this point with the thought process that it would increase the chance
of one of them implanting.
However, this has been shown to not really be true
and does not increase the chance of pregnancy.
Therefore, only one embryo is
usually implanted at this point as a singleton pregnancy is safer and has a
better chance of a positive outcome. If you have more than one quality embryo
created, you can choose to have extra
embryos frozen for future use should you need them. Read more on the egg freezing process here.
#7 Pregnancy Testing
This is possibly the hardest part of this process
because you now just have to wait. You
will wait generally just over two weeks before returning to the IVF clinic
to test to find out if you are pregnant.
This can be a very anxious, scary, and
You may have severely mixed feelings which is completely
normal. Hopefully you will be successful and become pregnant with your first
round of IVF treatment.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and some
couples may choose to continue trying with subsequent rounds of the IVF
treatment if the first is not successful.
Choose What is Best for Your
The process of in vitro fertilization is a long and often
It can be uncomfortable, stressful, expensive, and sometimes,
disappointing. Even once you go through everything that it entails, there is no
guarantee of a successful pregnancy or birth.
This can be a scary thought for
many, and may be difficult to make a decision as to whether you want to go
through IVF or not.
Additionally, if you do go through a first round of IVF,
and are not successful with it, you will have to decide whether or not to try
again which can be even more difficult. You will need to take many things into consideration such as your health, your age,
and your financial situation.
all aspects of these things with your partner and your health care
professional and make whatever decision you truly feel is best for your
Welcome to Babyinfo – the ultimate pregnancy and newborn information guide. We are here to help you find all the pregnancy and baby info you need to make the most beautiful experience of your life even better.
Our team is comprised of an amazing mix of experienced mothers, recently pregnant women, and editors with tremendous medical knowledge in the fields of gynaecology and childbirth.
Think of us as your friendly advisors, here to give you honest, easy to understand and authentic information. We are here to be your support at this crucial time in your life, when you need it the most.
Note: This website is in no way meant to replace doctors, hospitals, or other healthcare providers that may be utilized by current mothers or mothers-to-be. All mothers are advised to see a doctor for medical advice and the appropriate care before, during, and after pregnancy.