Understanding the IVF Process Step-by-Step
IVF Process in 6 Steps
IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is the most effective treatment we have for infertility. IVF is the fertilization of an egg by a sperm outside the body. There are several steps to the IVF process:
IVF Step #1 – Ovarian Stimulation
Stimulation of the ovary to grow multiple eggs at once. This usually involves about 10 days of shots of a fertility drug.
IVF Step #2 – Egg Retrieval
Egg removal is done under anesthesia. A needle, guided by ultrasound, is passed through the vagina straight into the ovary. The fluid containing the eggs is drawn through the needle and passed to the embryologists, who find the eggs.
IVF Step #3 – Fertilization
The eggs and sperm are put in a dish so that natural fertilization can occur. If the sperm are weak, they can be individually injected into each egg.
IVF Step #4 – Development
The fertilized eggs are given 5 or 6 days to grow in the lab. The normal ones grow to contain a hundred or more cells over these 5 or 6 days. At this stage of development, they are ready to be transferred back, frozen, or screened for genetic problems with preimplantation genetic screening or comprehensive chromosome screening.
IVF Step #5 – Embryo Transfer
In some cases, a first embryo is transferred into the uterus 5 days after the eggs were retrieved. In other cases, the embryos are frozen and then later thawed for a transfer in a later cycle.
IVF Step #6 – Test for Pregnancy
About 10 days after embryo transfer, a pregnancy test will be done.
Watch Dr. Toner explain the IVF process:
How Long Does the IVF Process Take?
From start to finish, the IVF process spans a few weeks. There are office visits every few days, but there are only two days where you’d need to be off work: the day of egg retrieval, and the day of embryo transfer.
For more information on the IVF process, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Toner call 678.841.1089 or click here.