Failing to conceive can be traumatizing. However, a doctor can recommend in vitro fertilization (IVF). So, what is in vitro fertilization? It is a procedure where fertilization of an egg takes place outside a woman’s body. Usually, the egg and the sperm are joined in a laboratory dish. The process entails the following stages
The fertility specialist monitors the ovaries, when ovulation takes place and if the levels of the hormones are okay. One usually undertakes ultrasounds through the vagina as well as a blood test to check the hormones and the ovaries. Often, a single egg is produced by a woman in her monthly cycle. One is given fertility drugs to boost egg production and to normalize the level of the hormones. Producing many eggs increase the chance of becoming pregnant through IVF. If the ovaries fail to produce the eggs, the specialist will recommend getting an egg donor.
Retrieving the eggs
In this stage, through the guidance of ultrasound, drugs are given to sedate the woman; the drugs ensure she doesn’t experience any pain. The eggs are removed through a minor procedure known as follicular aspiration. The fertility specialist uses a thin needle to insert into the vagina, and then to the ovary and the follicles that hold the eggs. The needle is connected to suction equipment which gets the egg and fluid from the sacs containing the eggs. The eggs are kept in a culture dish and taken to an incubator. After the procedure, the patient may experience cramping or even slight bleeding through the vagina. But after a day, the pain will go away, and the bleeding will stop. The patient is given medication to prepare the lining of the uterus in readiness for the embryo transfer.
Fertilization and embryo transfer
The eggs are mixed with the patient’s sperms; this is referred to as insemination. They are stored in a laboratory. Fertilization will take place after a few hours. However, if the doctor notes that chances of fertilization are minimal, the sperm will be injected directly into the egg. After fertilization, embryos are formed. The embryos will be incubated in the laboratory for some few days to for monitoring for normal development. Then, the best embryos are selected and transferred. If good quality embryos are not used, they can be frozen to be used in future.
The embryos are transferred into a woman body while she is awake. In this stage, one is free of pain but may experience some discomfort. The fertility specialist puts the embryos in a thin tube and inserts it into the vagina, then into the cervix and finally up to the uterus. Normally, implantation of the embryos will take place in the womb. The doctor will advise on bed rest for at least 24 hours. If two embryos are transferred, twins are born after nine months. After the procedure, one can take a pregnancy test
Well, what is in vitro fertilization has been elaborated, and you can try it out if you have damaged fallopian tubes, endometriosis or you have advanced in age as a woman.