Step by step of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

The IVF is an assisted reproduction treatment consisting of the union of egg with sperm in the laboratory. The first time it was used was in 1978 in the United Kingdom with the birth of the girl Luise Brown. Since then more than 6 million children have been born thanks to IVF. You can check IVF cost in India here.

The concepts of Artificial Insemination and In Vitro Fertilization are often misused. Actually, they are very different because in the Artificial Insemination, the embryo is developed inside the female genitalia, that is, it is a live fertilization.

To better understand how IVF works, we describe its phases below:

0-Evaluation of the patient

Fundamental so that the gynecologist can choose the treatment or technique that best suits the patient.

1-Ovarian stimulation

During this phase, hormonal medication is administered by subcutaneous injections to the patient. This medication will stimulate the ovary to produce more oocytes to obtain the highest number of “ovules” of good quality, that is, to increase the chances of success.

The stimulation starts during the first days of the period and lasts between 8 and 11 days. During this time the growth of the follicles is monitored with ultrasound exams to know when the follicles are mature and, therefore, when ovulation will occur.

When the follicles reach an adequate size, ovulation is provoked and the ovarian puncture is scheduled 36 hours after approximately.

2-Follicular puncture

Obtaining the ovules is done by a simple intervention under sedation that lasts about 15 minutes.

Using a vaginal ultrasound, a puncture is made of the ovaries that allows extracting the fluid contained in the follicles that will be analyzed in the laboratory to find the ovules.
After the intervention, the patient will remain at rest for one or two hours and then return to her home. The rest of the day will not require rest, but avoid over-exertion.

3-In the laboratory, in vitro fertilization

Once the oocytes are available, after performing the follicular puncture, and the sperm, either on the part of the male partner or donor, the insemination of the ovules will proceed.

The resulting embryos after insemination are observed in the laboratory day after day and will be classified according to their morphology and capacity for division. Normally the embryos will be transferred to the uterus between 3 and 5 days after the puncture.

4-Embryo transfer

It is performed by a simple, painless, rapid procedure without sedation. On the contrary, it is an emotional and unique moment in which the embryo or embryos, selected in the laboratory, will be introduced into the maternal womb.

5-Pregnancy test

Approximately 2 weeks after the embryo transfer, the patient must have a beta-hCG test in the blood to determine if the pregnancy has finally been achieved.

6-Vitrification of remaining embryos

In order to be able to be transferred in a subsequent cycle, the laboratory proceeds to freeze or vitrify remaining unused embryos.