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Thu Mar 14 2019

IVF- Another Chance To Be A Mom



According to the Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction, about 10 to 14 percent of the Indian population cannot conceive. Higher rates of infertility are in urban areas where one out of six couples suffer. Nearly 27.5 million couples trying to conceive, suffer from infertility in India and the causes of infertility vary from people to people.


Science has come a long way in its ability to help those who cannot have a child. The solution is In-Vitro-Fertilisation, better known as IVF. During IVF, mature eggs are collected from the ovaries and fertilized by a sperm in a lab. Then the fertilized egg or eggs are implanted in the uterus.

In the process of IVF, looking over the schedule of ultrasounds, injections and blood tests, it could be exciting as well as a nerve-wracking experience for you. The more knowledge you have, the more you are prepared for it. Here is the step by step procedure, one must know in order to get a better understanding of In-Vitro Fertilisation.


STEP 1: DAY 1 OF YOUR PERIOD


The first day of the IVF treatment process is day 1 of your period. Everyone’s div is different, and IVF specialist will help you understand how to identify day 1. The medication may start from the period calendar or before that.


STEP 2: STIMULATION


Normally, in a monthly cycle, the ovaries produce one egg. You will have to take medication from 8 to 14 days to increase the production of eggs.

The IVF doctor prescribes medication specific for each div type. This medication boosts the natural level of ovaries to encourage more developed eggs.

The most common hormones in the medications used are:

  • Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

  • Luteinizing Hormone (LH).

During this phase, the patients generally come to visit the clinic 5-7 times or more for monitoring appointments. This helps the doctor to track the progress of the cycle and alter the medicine dosage if needed. The doctor monitors follicle (where the eggs live) growth and hormone levels with ultrasound and blood tests.

  • The ultrasound measures the growth of egg-containing follicles and the thickness of the uterine lining, both of which should be increasing throughout the stimulation phase.

  • Blood tests are used as another indicator for the growth and maturation of your eggs.

The IVF specialist will track you more frequently at the end of the stimulation and will schedule the egg retrieval before you ovulate.



STEP 3: EGG RETRIEVAL

This procedure takes place in the hospital. A general anaesthetic will be given to you and the process will take about 20-30 minutes. The eggs will be collected using a needle. You cannot see an egg with the bare eye. They are in the fluid within the follicles of the ovaries. The specialist removes fluid from the follicles that seem to be grown enough to have an egg inside.


STEP 4: THE SPERM

If you are thinking to use fresh sperm, the male will produce a sample, on the day of egg retrieval. If you are using a donor or frozen sperm, the doctor will have it stored in the lab. The doctor washes the sperm in a special mixture to spot the best ones under the microscope. The perfect sperm is selected and then it is ready to fertilise the egg.


STEP 5: FERTILISATION

Now, the collected eggs and some sperms are placed in a dish. They fertilise in it as they would naturally, within the div. After 16-20 hours, they are examined to see if any eggs have been successfully fertilised.

After the sperm fertilises the egg, it becomes an embryo. For the embryo development, the doctor puts the embryo into a special incubator where the conditions for growth and development are provided.


STEP 6: EMBRYO TRANSFER

Now, when the embryo is developed, it is time to transfer it into the uterus. The IVF specialist transfers the embryo by placing it in a small tube called a catheter and inserting it into the womb. Embryo transfer is a very simple process. It takes about 5-6 minutes and does not require anaesthesia.


STEP 7: THE FINAL BLOOD TEST


About two weeks after the embryo transfer, you will have to go through a blood test (pregnancy test). This test measures the levels of the hormone HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). Presence of HCG means a positive pregnancy. The doctor will inform when you need to have the blood test, as it may vary from patient to patient.




Having a clear picture of an IVF cycle and understanding the schedule of each step can make the process feel much easier.




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