Pin It

What is IVF?

Share Button

One in 6 couples has fertility issues. When you’re under 35 and you haven’t been successful getting pregnant after trying for one year (or if you are over 35 and you haven’t been successful after trying for six months) it is recommended by World Health Organisation that you see a fertility expert.

Elena Kontogianni

About one-third of infertility cases in couples are due to a male fertility problem, another third are due to a female fertility problem, and the final third are either due to both male and female fertility problems. In a few cases, the cause is unknown.

The fertility expert will decide if IVF is the best solution for you. Most of you have heard of it, but do you actually know what it means and how it could help you?

IVF is the process by which eggs are removed from your ovaries and mixed with sperm in a laboratory culture dish. Fertilisation takes place in this dish, “in vitro”, which in Latin means “in glass”.

IVF is likely to be recommended for the following fertility problems:

  • If you have blocked or damaged fallopian tubes.
  • If your partner has problem with his sperm. More severe problems are better treated using
  • If you have tried fertility drugs or another fertility treatment, without success.

For certain causes of infertility, IVF is the only way to help you have a family. Here is a short version of the steps involved in an IVF treatment cycle.

 1. Ovarian stimulation.

Drugs are prescribed for you to take to stimulate your ovaries into hopefully producing 10 to 12 mature eggs.

  1. Monitoring of your drug response.

To monitor the progress of your ovarian stimulation you undergo blood tests and an ultrasound examination.

  1. Egg maturation.

Two days before your eggs are due to be collected you have a hormone injection, which triggers maturation of the eggs.

  1. Egg collection.

This is a simple, short procedure. You receive a light anaesthetic and your eggs are retrieved using an ultrasound-guided technique.

  1. Sperm sample.

Your partner provides a sperm sample on the day of egg collection or a sample has been cryopreserved a few days earlier.

  1. Fertilisation.

The embryologist puts sperm and eggs together in the lab and, if all goes well, the eggs fertilise and early embryo development begins. If the sperm has poor characteristics, the embryologist performs ICSI.

  1. Embryo transfer.

Two to five days after egg collection, one or two embryos are placed in your womb.

  1. Embryo freezing.

If you have additional embryos suitable for use, they can be frozen and kept for future transfers.

  1. Pregnancy test.

About two weeks after embryo transfer you have a blood test to find out whether you’re pregnant. If the test is positive, you have your first pregnancy scan two weeks later.

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of your company name or keyword spam.