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In case the fertility odds are against your favour, you can undergo a procedure called IVF or in vitro fertilisation. It is a form of fertility treatment in which the sperms and eggs are combined in a laboratory. IVF is a very common fertility treatment procedure, involving modern technology. It is carried out by many women and couples worldwide. When you are facing ovulation problems and issues with the quality of eggs, have blocked fallopian tubes or if your male partner has a low sperm count, a sperm donor’s eggs are used via IVF to become pregnant.
The overall process of IVF involves several methods and steps:
- Ovarian stimulation: You will have to take a fertility drug called gonadotrophin eight to fourteen days before the beginning of your menstrual cycle. This will help to stimulate your ovaries for the development of multiple, mature eggs for fertilisation. You will also be given synthetic hormones like cetrorelix and leuprolide.
- Development of follicle: You should be visiting your doctor frequently while having the medicines for a check-up of your blood hormone levels. Your ovaries will also be measured using ultrasound. This will allow the doctor to monitor the follicle development.
- Trigger shot: You will be given a trigger shot injection when the follicles are prepared. This injection leads to full maturation of the eggs, making them ready for fertilisation. The eggs require a period of 36 hours for retrieval after receiving the trigger shot.
- Gathering of the eggs: An anesthetic will be given to you and an ultrasound probe will be inserted via your vagina for observation of the ovaries and follicles. A thin needle will be inserted through the vaginal wall with which the eggs are removed from the follicles.
- Fertilisation: The eggs will be observed one final time before being combined with your partner’s sperm. Then they will be incubated overnight. Fertilisation occurs during this period and the abnormal eggs do not get fertilised. Three days after the egg retrieval, some of the successfully fertilised eggs transform into embryos composed of six to ten cells. Within five days, some of these embryos turn into blastocysts composed of fluid-filled cavities and tissue. This separates into the baby and the placenta. The most viable embryos are placed in your uterus. One to five embryos are placed in your uterus by the insertion of a catheter through the cervix. The embryo implants itself to the uterus walls. Gradually, it develops into the baby. The chances of pregnancy are higher when there are multiple embryos.
Before thinking of undergoing IVF, you must consult a doctor to know about the entire process. You also need to know whether you are fit to undergo IVF as there are several criteria you should satisfy for IVF.