In-vitro fertilization is a treatment option for infertility when you are not able to conceive on your own. There are many reasons to turn to in-vitro fertilization, such as having advanced maternal age, male factor infertility, unexplained infertility, endometriosis, or blocked fallopian tubes. This treatment is offerred to patients who are not able to conceive without help and are looking for this advanced, assisted conception option in fertility clinics in New York City.
Here are the important basic steps involved when getting in-vitro fertilization.
Step One: Stimulating Ovulation
The first step to in vitro fertilization is stimulating ovulation with fertility drugs. The exception is if you choose to do a “natural” IVF cycle, where no drugs are used to induce ovulation. For most patients, however, this is the first step. During this step, you are monitored with blood tests and ultrasounds, and asked to take your own tests at home to check if you are ovulating. By taking fertility medications, ovulation is induced and hopefully you are able to allow multiple eggs to be collected.
Step Two: Retrieving the Woman’s Eggs
After ovulation has taken placed, the eggs are retrieved through a process called follicular aspiration. This is done as a simple, outpatient procedure. You are given medication to numb your body during the process and the doctor uses ultrasound to guide the needle and collect the eggs. The eggs are pulled from the follicles individually. If IVF is being done on a woman who no longer produces her own eggs, these steps are not necessary as she uses donor eggs.
Step Three: Fertilization
Your fertility clinic NYC will then combine sperm, which was prepared during ejaculation, and the eggs in the proper environment. Mixing of the sperm and egg is called insemination. Once sperm enters the egg after a few hours, this is called fertilization. The alternative is to inject the sperm directly into the eggs in a process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). If fertilization did not occur, the couple will need to start again from step one during a future cycle.
Step Four: Embryo Monitoring
Over the next several days, the doctors keep an eye on the egg and sperm fertilization to ensure it becomes an embryo, which is seen once the egg divides. This can take several days, while laboratory staff continues watching the embryo develop and grow properly.
Step Five: Transfer
During the final step of IVF, the embryo is transferred into the woman’s uterus. This happens about five days following fertilization and dividing of the embryo. A thin tube is inserted into the cervix and in the womb. The embryo is transferred and hopefully it implants to the lining of the womb, which is when pregnancy occurs. Multiple embryos can be transferred at one time, though this increases the risk of multiples.