In Vitro Fertilization is one of the assisted reproductive technologies, and is commonly referred to as IVF. IVF is the process of fertilization by separately extracting eggs and retrieving a sperm sample, and finally manually combining the egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo is then transferred to the uterus
Why is IVF used ?
As we all know, IVF is used to treat infertility and it will be most successful in the following cases:
- Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
- Male infertility factors, which include decreased sperm count and sperm mortality
- Women with ovulation disorders, premature ovarian failure and uterine fibroids
- Women who have had their fallopian tubes removed
- Individuals with a genetic disorder
- Unexplained infertility
What happens during IVF ?
- Step 1: In this step, fertility medications are prescribed to stimulate the egg production. Multiple eggs are usually desired as some eggs will not develop or fertilize after retrieval. An ultrasound is performed to examine the ovaries and blood test samples are taken to check the hormone levels.
- Step 2: In this step, the eggs are taken out through a minor surgical procedure which makes use of ultrasound imaging to guide a hollow instrument through the pelvic cavity to remove the eggs.
- Step 3: In this step, the male is asked to give a sample of sperm, which is prepared for combining with the eggs.
- Step 4: In this step, a process called insemination is performed. During insemination, sperm and eggs are mixed together and stored in a laboratory dish to encourage fertilization. The eggs are continuously monitored to confirm that fertilization and cell division are taking place
- Step 5: The embryos are transferred into the woman’s uterus three to five days after egg retrieval and fertilization. An instrument called catheter or a small tube is inserted into the uterus in order to transfer the embryos. If this procedure is successful, then implantation will typically occur around six to ten days after the egg retrieval.
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