What is the IVF Process?

Guide to IVF

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In vitro fertilization (IVF) establishes a medical fertility treatment that combines a donor egg and sperm in a lab setting to create a viable fertilized embryo.

There are typically four to five steps in the IVF process, once the parties involved have been approved as candidates for the procedure.

Positive achievement of the IVF process depends on many factors, including the health of the sperm and egg and the age of the biological parents. Some people go through several rounds of the IVF process before achieving a successful pregnancy or deciding to try a different method.

IVF progression involves medical testing on both parties. Usually, couples seek in vitro fertilization after being unable to conceive through normal intercourse.

Tests on both parties can help determine if there is infertility on either side, or if another factor is triggering the incompetence to conceive naturally. What irregularities count of IVF? Low sperm count, endometriosis, or irregular ovulation. If a doctor confirms that IVF may be an effective treatment, the real IVF process can begin.

Most of the time, women undergoing IVF will be given fertility medications that induce ovulation, ideally causing the release of multiple eggs.

The more eggs released, the better chance fertilization is achieved. A woman's hormones are monitored carefully after being treated with fertility drugs, to ensure that the eggs are harvested at the best time for an optimal chance of fertilization.

The harvesting portion of the IVF process for women is done through a surgical procedure. Fertility doctors can use a procedure called follicular aspirations, in which eggs are removed using a hollow needle that is inserted into the ovary through the pelvic region.

This procedure is controlled under a local anesthetic, and can be executed as an outpatient surgery. Sperm is collected from the father, generally through manual ejaculation. The collected specimens are transferred to an incubation lab and combined to allow fertilization. This requires very specific laboratory conditions that mimic the atmosphere of a healthy womb.

When low sperm count is present, sperm may be injected directly into the egg. If successful, cell division will begin, indicating that fertilization has occurrednce an embryo has been confirmed as viable, it is implanted into the uterus of the mother or surrogate carrier.

Generally, doctors hope to create and insert several viable embryos to maximize the probabilities of at least one effective transfer. Following this step, the mother is monitored regularly for signs of pregnancy.

The IVF process has a relatively high rate of success, but may not work for everyone. Studies suggest that women over the age of 40 have a sharp decline in success rates for IVF. It is also important to consider the likelihood of multiple births, which are collective with IVF.

Multiple births ensue as more than one of the implanted embryos in the womb form to create fraternal twins, triplets, or other multiples. 

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