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What is involved in IVF treatment?


What are the steps involved in IVF treatment? 11

Conventional or standard IVF treatment involves the administration of fertility drugs, monitoring of the cycle, collection of eggs, mixing eggs and sperm together outside the woman's body in a culture dish or test-tube. Any resulting embryos are left to grow and the best 2-3 embryos are then transferred into the woman's womb. Any remaining embryos of good quality may then be frozen for future use.

The original indication for IVF was tubal damage, but it is now used for a wide range of disorders such as unexplained infertility, endometriosis, male factor infertility, failure to conceive after 12 cycles of successful ovulation induction, failure to conceive after 6 cycles of intrauterine insemination etc.

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

In vitro fertilisation is often abbreviated to IVF, in vitro means outside the body.

In short, IVF is a method where the eggs are removed from the ovaries to be fertilised in the laboratory. The eggs are then cultured for approx. 2 days and nights before the fertilised egg is transferred to the uterus for normal growth. At IVF the woman ovaries are stimulated to produce more and bigger eggs than at a normal cycle. This means that more than one egg can be removed for the treatment. At a normal cycle the woman normally only produces one egg. More eggs improve the probability of finding suitable eggs for fertilisation.

IVF treatment is recommended in those cases where the woman has tubal blockage, the man has a poor sperm quality, or the cause of infertility is unexplained. There are a number of different medications for IVF treatment, which are to be adjusted to the individual need. You will get more information about this when you have your consultation at the clinic.

The preconditions for In Vitro Fertilisation

Treatment with in vitro fertilisation implies that:

  • The man produces sperm cells, or has sperm cells that we in special cases can extract from the testicle or from the epididymis. If the man does not produce sperm cells, donor sperm cells can be used.
  • The woman has ovulation, either by herself or through hormone treatment.
  • The woman has a normal uterus.
  • The couple has no incidence of venereal diseases or infections.
  • You have received genetic counselling.

To obtain the best possible results at the treatment it is important that the woman produces eggs and that her uterus is able to receive the fertilised egg. If the woman does not produce eggs herself, IVF can be performed with donor eggs.

IVF step by step

Below you get a short overview of the steps of the IVF treatment:

1. Preliminary consultation with the doctor.

Here we can make sure that you are well informed about your treatment.

2. Examination for infertility

The couple is examined for causes of infertility.

3. Hormone stimulation

The woman gets a hormone stimulation to regulate the egg production and the egg maturation.

4. Ultrasound scan of the follicles

The right time for egg removal is determined.

5. Egg aspiration (aspiration)

The eggs are aspirated from the ovaries. Aspiration is performed with a thin needle through the vagina wall. The doctor will administer a local anaesthetic in the vagina wall. Egg aspiration is illustrated below:

IVF 55

6. Sperm cell sample

The man hands in a sperm cell sample on the day of the egg aspiration. If donor sperm cells or frozen sperm cells are to be used, these are thawed.

7. Fertilisation of the eggs (fertilisation)

The aspirated eggs are fertilised with the sperm cells in the laboratory.

8. Egg transfer (transfer)

The fertilised egg/eggs are transferred to the womans uterus for normal growth.

9. After-treatment

The endometrium is stimulated to prepare it for receiving the egg.

10. Pregnancy test

The pregnancy test is made 14 days after the egg transfer.

Transferring one IVF embryo, followed by a second, is almost as likely to result in a pregnancy as transferring two at a time.