In vitro fertilization (IVF) or IVF pregnancy is a form of assisted reproductive technology process by which an egg is fertilized by sperm In Vitro or outside the body, in a laboratory. If the sperm fertilizes the egg, an embryo is formed which is allowed to develop in the laboratory and is then transferred into the women’s uterus where it will hopefully implant and develop further. As a form of ART, IVF pregnancy has had a higher rate of success than other methods and is the go-to solution for fertility experts to recommend to couples that are unable to conceive.
There are 5 basic steps in the IVF pregnancy embryo transfer process. These are:
At the very outset, fertility medications are prescribed to stimulate egg production. Multiple eggs are desired since some eggs will not fertilize after retrieval. The ovaries are examined using transvaginal ultrasound and the hormone levels are checked using blood samples.
Step 2: The eggs are retrieved using a minor surgical procedure that uses ultrasound imaging to guide a hollow needle through the pelvic cavity to remove the eggs.
The male is asked to produce a sample of the sperm which is then prepared to be combined with the egg
The sperm and eggs are then mixed together and stored in a lab to encourage fertilization, in process referred to as insemination. In some cases where the probability of fertilization is low, an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is used. Using this method, a single sperm is injected directly into the egg in an effort to achieve fertilization. Once the eggs get fertilized, they are then considered embryos.
The embryos are usually transferred to a woman’s uterus 3 to 5 days after egg retrieval and fertilization. A catheter is inserted into the uterus to transfer the embryos. If this procedure is successful then implantation usually occurs 6 to 10 days following egg retrieval.