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IVF or In vitro fertilization is a form of fertility treatment where the sperm and egg is combined, in a laboratory. IVF is one of the most common fertility treatment procedures, which involves high technology and are undertaken by many couples all over the world. If you have ovulation problems or problems with the quality of egg and blocked fallopian tubes or in case your male partner has low sperm count or high mortality, you can undertake IVF to become pregnant.
The process of IVF involves the following steps and methods:
- Ovarian stimulation: Before your menstrual cycle begins, you should take a gonadotrophin. This is a fertility drug which will stimulate your ovaries for development of multiple, mature eggs for fertilization process. Taking synthetic hormones like cetrorelix and leuprolide also help in ovaries stimulation.
- Development of follicle: You must visit your doctor frequently while having the medicines for a checkup of your blood hormone levels. Getting an ultrasound done for regularly measuring your ovaries is also very important. This will allow your doctor to monitor the development of follicles.
- Trigger shot: You will be given a trigger shot injection after the follicles are ready. This injection causes full maturation of the eggs and makes them ready to get fertilized. The eggs can be triggered after 36 hours of trigger shots.
- Gathering of the eggs: You will be given an anesthetic by the doctor and an ultrasound probe will be inserted through your vagina for observing the ovaries and follicles. A thin needle is inserted through the vaginal wall and the eggs are removed from the follicles.
- Fertilization: Your eggs will be observed once more before being combined with your partner's sperm and being incubated overnight. Fertilization occurs during this time and abnormal eggs are not fertilized. Three days after the eggs are retrieved, some of the successfully fertilized eggs turn into embryos made up of six to ten cells. After five days, some of these embryos become blastocysts made of fluid-filled cavities and tissue, which begin to develop and separate into the baby and the placenta.
- The most viable embryos are selected to be placed in your uterus. The doctor places one to five embryos in your uterus by the insertion of a thin tube or catheter through the cervix. The embryo implants in the walls of the uterus and slowly develops into a baby. The chances of pregnancy are higher in case of multiple embryos.
IVF is a successful and quite a common fertilization process. It is an old procedure used and has been in use for a very long time. The track record of IVF is impressive and more improved techniques are being developed every day. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an IVF Specialist.