The process of in vitro fertilization is actually quite simple!
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproduction treatment that involves the union of the egg and sperm in the laboratory. It was first used in 1978 in the United Kingdom with the birth of Luise Brown. Since then, more than 6 million children have been born thanks to IVF.
To better understand how IVF works, we describe its phases below:
Fundamental for the gynecologist to choose the treatment or technique that best suits the patient.
During this phase, hormonal medication is administered by subcutaneous injections to the patient. This medication will stimulate the ovary to produce more oocytes in order to obtain the highest number of good quality “eggs”, i.e. to increase the chances of success.
Stimulation begins during the first days of the period and lasts between 8 and 11 days. During this time the growth of the follicles is monitored with ultrasound examinations to know when the follicles are mature and, therefore, when ovulation will occur.
When the follicles reach an adequate size, ovulation is triggered and the ovarian puncture is scheduled approximately 36 hours later.
Egg retrieval is performed in a simple procedure under sedation that lasts about 15 minutes.
By means of a vaginal ultrasound, a puncture of the ovaries is performed to extract the fluid containing the follicles, which will be analyzed in the laboratory to find the eggs.
After the procedure, the patient will rest for one or two hours and then can return home. The rest of the day will not require rest, but avoid overexertion.
3-4-5-In vitro fertilization, in vitro fertilization in the laboratory
Once the oocytes are available, after follicular puncture, and the sperm, either from the male partner or from a donor, the oocytes will be inseminated.
The resulting embryos after insemination are observed in the laboratory day after day and will be classified according to their morphology and division capacity. Normally the embryos will be transferred to the uterus between 3 and 5 days after the puncture.
6-Transfer of embryos
It is a simple, painless, quick and non-sedated procedure. On the contrary, it is an emotional and unique moment when the embryo or embryos, selected in the laboratory, will be introduced into the mother’s uterus.
Approximately 2 weeks after the embryo transfer, the patient should have a beta-hCG blood test to determine if pregnancy has been achieved.
8-Vitrification of remaining embryos
In order to be able to transfer them in a later cycle, the remaining unused embryos are frozen or vitrified in the laboratory.
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