Gone are the days when women in their late 30's and above mostly faced difficulties in getting pregnant. In today's world with so much of stress, anxiety and health complications, incidences of are on the rise. IVF treatment has been a pathbreaking invention that has enabled many couples to embrace parenthood filling their lives with happiness and positivity. In this article, we will discuss the steps of IVF for people to have a better understanding of the revolutionary procedure.
Once the quality, mortality, morphology, quantity of the egg and the sperm along with the female reproductive organs (uterus, ovary, fallopian tubes, endometrial thickness, to name a few) and hormones (PRL, FSH, TSH, LH) have been examined, the specialist starts with the IVF procedure.
Ovulation induction: This step involves stimulation of the ovaries to enhance the production of the eggs. Most females are given a shot of the hormones LH or FSH or both to stimulate the ovaries. Following the ovulation induction, the doctor monitors the progress through blood tests to determine the estrogen (should be high) and progesterone level (should be relatively lower). An ultrasound of the vagina also plays a pivotal role in determining the functioning of the ovaries and the development of the follicles.
Egg and Sperm retrieval: A Transvaginal ultrasound aspiration or a Laparoscopy are often performed to retrieve the egg. The procedure involves the use of a fine needle which is inserted into the upper wall of the vagina. With the aid of a vaginal ultrasound, and using a gentle suction, the fluid is removed from the follicles, following which the egg are isolated. The doctor then places the retrieved egg(s) in a culture medium. Soon the retrieved eggs are incubated. For the sperm retrieval, the semen sample of the male are used. From the fluid (semen), the sperms (normal and actively moving) are collected. In some individuals, the sperm may be collected from the testicles directly by a procedure known as Testicular Aspiration.
Fertilization: The in-vitro fertilization of the eggs can be brought about by
Mixing the eggs with the sperms in-vitro in a laboratory followed by an overnight incubation, a procedure known as Insemination.
In case of a low sperm count, the doctor may opt for ICSI or Intracytoplasmic sperm injection. In ICSI, instead of the penetration of the sperm into the egg, a healthy and active sperm is selected and injected directly into the egg.
Embryo transfer: The embryos resulting from the fertilization are examined with utmost care to select the healthy embryo(s) for the transfer. This is transferred into the uterine cavity via a catheter placed into the vagina.
A bed rest is advised for 24 hours following the embryo transfer. Soon after (two weeks following the retrieval of the eggs), tests are conducted to check if the treated female is pregnant or not.