Getting familiar with IVF: FAQs and tips
Nowadays, there are many options for those experiencing difficulty getting pregnant, and In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most common and high-tech options available.
Whether you’re going through an IVF cycle or are still in the planning stage, it is important to learn more about IVF, whether it’s the right option for you, and what to expect before welcoming a new member to the family. Here are some answers to the most common IVF questions.
What is IVF?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a fertility treatment in which the egg and sperm are combined in a laboratory. Afterwards, the embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus, where they grow into a beautiful and healthy bouncing baby.
If you’re worried about using IVF, there’s no need to. In fact, IVF is by far the most effective and most commonly used high-tech fertility treatment. Think of it this way; more than 1.5% of babies born in the United States are conceived using this assisted reproductive technology. Thanks, IVF!
Is IVF the right option for you?
IVF is the best solution if you are experiencing problems with the following:
● Problems with ovulation or egg quality
● Blocked fallopian tubes
● Low sperm count or motility
● Unexplained infertility
● Other treatments have been unsuccessful
● Or if you’re planning to use donor eggs to get pregnant
What is the treatment process?
This is what the timeline of your IVF treatment will look like:
Ovary stimulation. You will be asked to take a fertility drug near the beginning of your menstrual cycle, as well as a hormone to keep your body from releasing eggs too early.
Follicle development. Your doctor will monitor your follicle development with ultrasound measurements and blood hormone-level checking.
Trigger shot. When all is well with the follicle development, you’ll undergo a “trigger shot.” This is an injection that causes your eggs to fully mature for fertilization.
Gathering eggs. After approximately 36 hours, your eggs are ready to be retrieved. Through a short retrieval process, a number of eggs will be removed. You may experience slight cramping, but you’ll feel fine after a couple of days.
Fertilization. An embryologist will examine your eggs before combining them with your partner’s sperm and incubating overnight.
Embryo development. Successfully fertilized eggs develop into embryos quickly. During this exciting time, the embryos will begin to separate into baby and placenta.
Embryo selection. The embryologist selects the most viable embryo to implant in your uterus. He or she performs pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), similar to prenatal diagnosis, to screen for any genetic diseases. Next generation sequencing (NGS) is the most advanced, reliable, and successful form of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. This service is currently only available in the United States, provided by the Progenesis lab.
Embryo implantation. Your doctor will place around one or two embryos in your uterus through a thin tube or catheter in your cervix, without the need for anesthesia.
Got any more concerns regarding IVF? If you have any more questions about IVF, embryo selection procedures, or fertility treatments, feel free to post it in the comments section below, and I’ll get back to you.