What is in vitro fertilization?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) involves removing eggs from a woman’s body, fertilizing them with sperm in the ARTS lab, and then implanting them directly into her uterus. This process allows those who have been unable to conceive a chance at a viable pregnancy.
If the eggs or the sperm of either partner are unhealthy or unable to produce healthy embryos (fertilized eggs), donor eggs or sperm may be used. Also, if a woman’s body isn’t able to sustain a pregnancy, a gestational carrier may be used to carry a couple’s embryo to full term.
What does IVF entail?
The process of in vitro fertilization, while giving hope to many infertile couples, can be a long, emotional journey. At Advantage Women’s Care, every member of the team appreciates that each step of preparation, implantation and waiting for results needs compassionate, knowledgeable care and support.
Some basic steps to IVF are:
- Maturation of eggs using medication and close observation
- Collection of semen from the male partner or a sperm donor
- Extraction of mature eggs
- Fertilization of eggs by highly skilled technicians
- Maturation of embryo done in vitro, or “in a dish”
- Implantation of an embryo into the uterus of the female partner or a gestational carrier
- Observation for signs of pregnancy using blood tests
Each step involved in IVF requires specific timing to create the best possible environment for establishing a viable pregnancy.
How long does IVF take?
Because each step of the IVF process works with the natural reproductive processes of the woman’s body, it requires close monitoring and consistent observation by a highly knowledgeable team.
The timing of the steps of an IVF cycle are variable, but you can anticipate:
- Ovarian stimulation:Around two weeks
- Egg retrieval: Short procedure
- Fertilization of eggs:Usually overnight, in an advanced reproductive technology (ART) laboratory
- Maturation of embryos:Usually 2-5 days, when eggs achieve the best inner cell mass (ICM) for implantation
- Implantation: Short procedure
- Observation for signs of pregnancy:9-10 days for a positive blood test, and 14 days for reliable urine testing
IVF is an intense process that requires the best support possible at every stage. Dr. Parikh and her staff are proud to be part of your IVF team.
To discuss IVF as a way to achieve a pregnancy, call or book your appointment online today.