What is IVF | How IVF Treatment is Done?

by | Jan 24, 2023 | IVF

What Is IVF?

In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a medical procedure that has helped countless couples around the world realize their dream of starting a family. This advanced fertility treatment involves the fertilization of an egg outside of the body, in a laboratory setting. IVF treatment has been a life-changer for those struggling with infertility, offering hope to those who had once thought they would never be able to have a biological child.

What Happens During the IVF Process?

The IVF process typically involves several steps. These steps can vary depending on the individual’s specific situation and the clinic’s protocol. However, in general, the IVF process involves the following:

Stimulation of the ovaries: The woman will receive medication to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs.

  1. Egg retrieval: Once the eggs have matured, they are retrieved from the ovaries using a needle guided by ultrasound.
  2. Fertilization: The eggs are fertilized with sperm in a laboratory dish.
  3. Embryo development: The fertilized eggs, now embryos, are monitored in the lab for several days as they develop.
  4. Embryo transfer: One or more embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus, where they can implant and grow into a baby.
  5. Pregnancy test: A pregnancy test is performed a few weeks after the embryo transfer to determine if the procedure was successful.

 

Why Is IVF Performed?

IVF is performed for several reasons. It can help couples who are struggling with infertility, either because of male or female factor infertility, or a combination of both. IVF can also be used to help women who have certain medical conditions that make it difficult for them to conceive, such as blocked fallopian tubes or endometriosis. IVF may also be used in cases where other fertility treatments have failed, such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or ovulation induction.

Additionally, IVF can be used for couples who wish to have genetic testing done on their embryos before implantation. This can help identify any genetic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities that may affect the health of the baby.

IVF can also be used in surrogacy arrangements, where a woman carries a pregnancy for another couple or an individual who cannot carry a pregnancy themselves.

How IVF Treatment is Done?

STIMULATION OF THE OVARIES:

A Woman is given certain Hormonal Injections & Medications to stimulate the ovaries which enables the Production of Eggs. The purpose of this exercise is to produce (2-3) Eggs with an expectation that at least 1 Egg will become Mature for Fertilization. Gonadotropins, Agonists and Antagonists are used to ensure that the Ovaries are Stimulated correctly. Ovarian Stimulation is typically done (9-10) Days before Egg Retrieval.

RETRIEVING A WOMAN’S EGGS:

Post Stimulation, Eggs are developed in the Ovaries as Follicles. A Follicle with a Diameter of (15-20) mm is considered as Mature enough to be retrieved. These Eggs are Retrieved from a Woman’s Ovaries through a Thin Catheter by an Infertility Specialist guided through a Trans Vaginal Ultrasound Probe. The Process of Egg Retrieval is done under General Anaesthesia. This Process Takes about 15 Minutes.

SPERM COLLECTION:

The Male Partner is required to share the sperm on the Day of the Egg Retrieval or at best 2 Days before the Egg Fertilization. Sperms are Collected through TESA (testicular sperm aspiration), TESE (testicular sperm extraction) or PESA (percutaneous sperm aspiration) for Men who are unable to share Sperms due to Erectile, Ejaculation or Obstruction issues.

EGG FERTILIZATION:

The Retrieved Eggs are fertilized with Sperms in a laboratory with the expectation that they will incubate into Healthy Embryos that can be subsequently transferred or Frozen for a Later Cycle. Egg Fertilization involves Egg Insemination & Sperm Washing before being placed in an incubator for Fertilization. Egg Fertilization usually takes between (3-5) Days depending upon the stage of the Blastocyst.

EMBRYO TRANSFER:

Embryo Transfer is the Last & most important Step in IVF Procedure. An experienced IVF Doctor makes the biggest difference in ensuring that Embryos are successfully placed in the middle of the Endometrial Cavity for successful implantation. Embryo Transfer is done under Full Bladder so that the Ultrasound Visuals are Clear to gauge Uterine Lining. The Golden Rule for Embryo Transfer is halfway from the internal cervix to the Top of the Cavity in the uterine fundus.

The Above 5 Stages of IVF Treatment typically take about 45-60 Days i.e., 6 Weeks to 8 Weeks. After the Embryo Transfer, a Pregnancy Test is suggested after 10 Days to test for Pregnancy. A Repeat Test is suggested after 1 Week of the First Test to confirm a Positive Pregnancy. 

Benefits of IVF:

  • IVF offers several benefits to couples struggling with infertility, including:
  • Increased chance of pregnancy: IVF provides a higher chance of pregnancy compared to other fertility treatments.
  • Control over timing: IVF allows couples to control the timing of pregnancy, allowing them to plan for the best time to start a family.
  • Multiple pregnancies: IVF offers the possibility of having multiple pregnancies, increasing the chances of having a child.
  • No need for surgery: Unlike some other fertility treatments, IVF does not require surgery.

Risks of IVF:

IVF risks and considerations. Some of these include:

  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome: Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a condition that can occur as a result of taking hormones to increase egg production. OHSS can cause symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating.
  • Multiple pregnancies: IVF increases the chance of multiple pregnancies, which can increase the risk of health problems for both the mother and the babies.
  • Emotional stress: IVF can be emotionally taxing, as the process can be time-consuming and emotionally draining.

Also Read: IVF in Hindi

What Can You Expect After IVF Treatment?

After IVF treatment, there are several things that you can expect to experience. These may vary depending on individual circumstances and the clinic’s specific protocol, but in general, you can expect the following:

  1. Rest and recovery: After the embryo transfer, it is recommended to take it easy and avoid strenuous activity for a few days.
  2. Side effects: Some women may experience mild cramping, bloating, or spotting after the embryo transfer. These are generally mild and resolve on their own within a few days.
  3. Medications: You will likely need to continue taking medications, such as progesterone, to support the pregnancy until the placenta takes over.
  4. Pregnancy test: A pregnancy test will be performed a few weeks after the embryo transfer to determine if the procedure was successful.
  5. Follow-up appointments: You will likely have follow-up appointments with your doctor to monitor the pregnancy and ensure that everything is progressing as expected.

It’s important to remember that every person’s experience with IVF is different, and it’s essential to communicate any concerns or questions with your doctor or healthcare provider.

 

What Medications Are Used For IVF?

Several medications are used during the IVF process to stimulate ovulation, prevent premature ovulation, and support the developing embryo. These medications may vary depending on individual circumstances, and the clinic’s specific protocol, but in general, the following medications are commonly used for IVF:

  1. Gonadotropins: These are hormones that stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs.
  2. GnRH agonists and antagonists: These medications prevent premature ovulation by suppressing the body’s natural production of hormones.
  3. Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG): This hormone triggers ovulation and is used to time the retrieval of the mature eggs.
  4. Progesterone: This hormone is used to support the developing embryo by thickening the lining of the uterus.
  5. Antibiotics: These medications may be prescribed to prevent infections during the IVF process.
  6. Anti-inflammatory medications: These medications may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and improve the chances of successful implantation.

It’s important to follow the medication regimen as prescribed by your doctor or healthcare provider and to communicate any concerns or questions with them. Some medications may have side effects or interactions with other medications, so it’s essential to let your doctor know about any other medications or supplements you are taking.

 

What Is The Success Rate of IVF By Age?

The success rate of IVF can vary depending on several factors, including age, underlying medical conditions, and the clinic’s specific protocol. Generally, the success rate of IVF declines with age due to a decrease in egg quality and quantity. Here is a breakdown of the success rates of IVF by age:

  1. Women under 35: The success rate of IVF for women under 35 is around 40-50%, depending on the clinic’s protocol and individual circumstances.
  2. Women between 35-37: The success rate of IVF for women between 35-37 is around 35-40%.
  3. Women between 38-40: The success rate of IVF for women between 38-40 is around 25-30%.
  4. Women over 40: The success rate of IVF for women over 40 is around 10-15%.

It’s important to remember that these success rates are only estimates, and individual circumstances can vary. Additionally, the success rates of IVF can be impacted by underlying medical conditions, lifestyle factors, and the quality of the sperm.

Also read: IVF Procedure Step By Step

How Much Does IVF Cost In India?

The cost of IVF in India can vary depending on several factors, including the clinic’s location, the specific protocol used, and any additional procedures or treatments required. On average, the cost of IVF in India can range from INR 1, 30,000 to INR 2,50,000 per cycle.

It’s important to note that additional costs may be incurred, such as medications, diagnostic tests, and follow-up appointments. Additionally, some clinics may offer package deals or discounts for multiple cycles or financing options.

Before choosing a clinic, it’s important to research and compares the costs and services offered by different clinics. It’s also essential to discuss any questions or concerns about the cost of IVF with your doctor or healthcare provider.

 

How Long Does IVF Treatment Take?

The IVF treatment timeline can vary depending on individual circumstances and the clinic’s specific protocol. However, in general, the IVF treatment timeline involves several steps that can take several weeks or months to complete. Here is a breakdown of the typical IVF treatment timeline:

  1. Ovarian stimulation: The woman receives medication to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. This step typically takes around 8-14 days.
  2. Egg retrieval: Once the eggs have matured, they are retrieved from the ovaries using a needle guided by ultrasound. This step takes around 20-30 minutes.
  3. Fertilization: The eggs are fertilized with sperm in a laboratory dish. This step takes around 16-20 hours.
  4. Embryo development: The fertilized eggs, now embryos, are monitored in the lab for several days as they develop. This step typically takes around 3-5 days.
  5. Embryo transfer: One or more embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus, where they can implant and grow into a baby. This step takes around 5-10 minutes.
  6. Pregnancy test: A pregnancy test is performed a few weeks after the embryo transfer to determine if the procedure was successful.

In total, the IVF treatment timeline can take around 4-6 weeks from the start of ovarian stimulation to the pregnancy test. However, additional cycles may be required, which can prolong the treatment timeline.

Also Read: Types of IVF Treatments

Conclusion

IVF is a life-changing medical procedure that has helped countless couples around the world start a family. With a higher success rate than other fertility treatments, IVF offers hope and increased chances of pregnancy. However, like any medical procedure, IVF also has its own risks and considerations, and it is important to discuss these with your doctor before starting treatment.

 

FAQs:

Q: What is IVF and how is it done?

A: IVF stands for in vitro fertilization, which is a type of assisted reproductive technology used to help people conceive. During the IVF process, eggs are retrieved from a woman’s ovaries and fertilized with sperm in a laboratory dish. The resulting embryos are then transferred to the woman’s uterus, where they can implant and grow into a baby.

Q: How long does IVF take to get pregnant?

A: The time it takes to get pregnant with IVF can vary depending on individual circumstances and the clinic’s specific protocol. In general, the IVF process can take around 4-6 weeks from the start of ovarian stimulation to the pregnancy test. However, additional cycles may be required, which can prolong the treatment timeline.

Q: How much does IVF cost?

A: The cost of IVF can vary depending on several factors, including the clinic’s location, the specific protocol used, and any additional procedures or treatments required. On average, the cost of IVF can range from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars per cycle.

Q: Are IVF babies normal?

A: Yes, IVF babies are normal and healthy. In fact, studies have shown that there is no significant difference in the health and development of children conceived through IVF compared to those conceived naturally.

Q: How is IVF done step by step?

A: The IVF process involves several steps, including ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, fertilization, embryo development, embryo transfer, and a pregnancy test. Each step is carefully monitored by a healthcare team to ensure the best possible outcome.

Q: Is the IVF procedure painful?

A: Some women may experience mild discomfort or cramping during certain stages of the IVF process, such as ovarian stimulation or egg retrieval. However, most women report that the procedure is generally well-tolerated and not overly painful.

Q: How long is the IVF process from start to finish?

A: The IVF process can take around 4-6 weeks from the start of ovarian stimulation to the pregnancy test. However, the length of the process can vary depending on individual circumstances and the clinic’s specific protocol.

Q: How are eggs removed for IVF?

A: Eggs are removed for IVF through a procedure called egg retrieval, which involves the insertion of a needle guided by ultrasound into the ovaries to collect mature eggs.

Q: How much does IVF cost in India?

A: The cost of IVF in India can vary depending on several factors, including the clinic’s location, the specific protocol used, and any additional procedures or treatments required. On average, the cost of IVF in India can range from several thousand to tens of thousands of Indian Rupees per cycle.

Q: Can you choose gender with IVF?

A: Yes, it is possible to choose the gender of a baby with IVF through a process called preimplantation genetic testing. However, this process is typically only used in certain situations, such as to avoid genetic disorders or in cases of gender-linked diseases.

Q: What are the disadvantages of IVF?

A: Some potential disadvantages of IVF include the cost, the physical and emotional demands of the procedure, the risk of multiple pregnancies, and the possibility of unsuccessful outcomes.

Q: How is sperm collected for IVF?

A: Sperm can be collected for IVF through several methods, including masturbation, surgical extraction from the testes or epididymis, or donor sperm. The specific method used will depend on individual circumstances and the clinic’s specific protocol.

Q: What are the side effects of IVF?

A: Some common side effects of IVF can include bloating, cramping, mood swings, headaches, and breast tenderness. More serious side effects, such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, are rare but can occur in some cases.

Q: Is IVF free in India?

A: IVF is not typically offered for free in India, although some government programs and charitable organizations may offer reduced-cost or subsidized IVF treatment for certain patients.

Q: Is IVF procedure painful?

A: Some women may experience mild discomfort or cramping during certain stages of the IVF process, such as ovarian stimulation or egg retrieval. However, most women report that the procedure is generally well-tolerated and not overly painful.

Q: Is IVF injection painful?

A: The injections used during IVF can cause some mild discomfort or bruising at the injection site, but are typically not overly painful.

Q: Can IVF get twins?

A: Yes, IVF can increase the chance of having twins or other multiple births, although the likelihood will depend on individual factors such as age and the number of embryos transferred.

Q: Do IVF babies look like their parents?

A: Yes, IVF babies look like their biological parents, just like any other child conceived naturally.

Q: What is an IVF baby called?

A: An IVF baby is simply called a baby, like any other child.

Q: How is sperm collected for IVF?

A: Sperm can be collected for IVF through several methods, including masturbation, surgical extraction from the testes or epididymis, or donor sperm. The specific method used will depend on individual circumstances and the clinic’s specific protocol.

Q: What are three disadvantages of IVF?

A: Some potential disadvantages of IVF include the cost, the physical and emotional demands of the procedure, and the risk of multiple pregnancies.

Q: Are IVF babies normal?

A: Yes, IVF babies are normal and healthy. In fact, studies have shown that there is no significant difference in the health and development of children conceived through IVF compared to those conceived naturally.

Q: How much does IVF cost India?

A: The cost of IVF in India can vary depending on several factors, including the clinic’s location, the specific protocol used, and any additional procedures or treatments required. On average, the cost of IVF in India can range from several thousand to tens of thousands of Indian Rupees per cycle.

Q: How many injections are given in IVF?

A: The number of injections given during IVF can vary depending on the specific protocol used, but typically involves several injections of hormones to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs.

Q: Can IVF be successful in first attempt?

A: IVF can be successful in the first attempt, although success rates can vary depending on individual factors such as age, overall health, and any underlying fertility issues.

Q: Can you choose gender with IVF?

A: Yes, it is possible to choose the gender of a baby with IVF through a process called preimplantation genetic testing. However, this process is typically only used in certain situations, such as to avoid genetic disorders or in cases of gender-linked diseases.

Q: Is IVF done under anesthesia?

A: Egg retrieval during IVF is typically done under anesthesia to minimize discomfort and ensure safety.

Q: What is the two weeks wait for IVF?

A: The two weeks wait refers to the time period between the embryo transfer and the pregnancy test, during which time the woman waits to see if she has become pregnant. This period can be an emotional and stressful time for many couples undergoing IVF.

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    Dr Mona Dahiya

    Dr Mona Dahiya

    IVF Specialist & Consultant

    Dr Mona Dahiya has performed over 10,000+ IVF cycles and is considered a global expert in IVF, ICSI, IUI and male fertility treatment. She is an eminent writer on Infertility Treatment and has over 100 Publications in both International and National Journals. Dr Mona Dahiya has immensely contributed to the field of infertility through her Research and articles.

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