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In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)


  • IVF techniques can differ from clinic to clinic, often depending on your individual circumstances.
  • A typical IVF treatment may involve:

For women:

  • Step 1. Suppressing the natural monthly hormone cycle
    • As a first step of the IVF process you may be given a drug to suppress your natural cycle.
    • Treatment is given either as a daily injection (which is normally self-administered unless you are not able
    • to do this yourself. This continues for about two weeks.
  • Step 2. Boosting the egg supply
    • After the natural cycle is suppressed you are given a fertility hormone called FSH (or Follicle Stimulating Hormone). This is usually taken as a daily injection for around 12 -14 days
    • This hormone will increase the number of eggs you produce - meaning that more eggs can be retrieved and fertilised. With more fertilised eggs, the clinic has a greater choice of embryos to use in the treatment.
  • Step 3. Checking on progress
    • Throughout the drug treatment, the clinic will monitor the progress. This is done by vaginal ultrasound scans and, possibly, blood tests and trigger (hormone) injection will be given for final maturation of eggs (usually more than 3 follicles of greater than 18mm in size).
  • Step 4. Collecting the eggs
    • After 34-38 hours of trigger injection, the eggs are usually collected by ultrasound guidance under sedation or aneathesia. This involves a needle being inserted into the scanning probe and into each ovary,The eggs are, in turn, collected through the needle
    • Cramping and a small amount of vaginal bleeding can occur after the procedure.
  • For men:

  • Step 5. Fertilising the eggs
    • Collected eggs are mixed with husband's sperm and cultured in the laboratory for 16–20 hours. They are then checked to see for fertilization.
    • Those that have been fertilised (now called embryos) are grown in the laboratory incubator for another one - two days before being checked again. The best one or two embryos will then be chosen for transfer.
    • After egg collection, medication is given to help prepare the lining of the womb for embryo transfer. This is given as pessaries, injection or gel.
  • Step 6. Embryo transfer
    • One or two or three embryos can be transferred.
    • The number of embryos is restricted because of the risks associated with multiple births. Remaining embryos may be frozen for future IVF attempts, if they are suitable
  • Step 7. Other treatments
    • Some clinics may also offer blastocyst transfer, where the fertilised eggs are left to mature for five to six days and then transferred
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