In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that involves combining eggs and sperm outside the body in a laboratory dish and then transferring the resulting embryo(s) back into the uterus. Here is a general overview of the IVF process:
1. Ovarian stimulation: The woman is given medications to stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple eggs. The progress of follicle growth and egg development is monitored using ultrasound and blood tests.
2. Egg retrieval: Once the follicles have matured, the eggs are retrieved from the ovaries using a needle guided by ultrasound. This is typically done under sedation or anesthesia.
3. Fertilization: The retrieved eggs are then mixed with sperm in a laboratory dish and allowed to fertilize for several days.
4. Embryo culture: The resulting embryos are monitored in the laboratory for a few days to ensure proper development.
5. Embryo transfer: One or more embryos are then transferred into the uterus using a thin catheter. This is typically done without anesthesia.
6. Pregnancy testing: Two weeks after the embryo transfer, a pregnancy test is done to determine whether the procedure was successful.
Throughout the process, the woman may be given medications to help prepare the uterus for implantation and to support early pregnancy.
IVF is a complex and often expensive procedure, and success rates can vary depending on several factors, including the age of the woman, the quality of the eggs and sperm, and the expertise of the fertility clinic. It’s important for couples considering IVF to discuss the potential risks and benefits with their healthcare provider and to carefully consider their options before proceeding with treatment.
IVF is not the same as surrogacy. As explained above, in IVF, a woman’s eggs are fertilized outside her body with her partner’s sperm. With surrogacy, the surrogate woman carries and delivers another couple’s baby.
If IVF has been unsuccessful for you, or you want to learn more about your surrogacy options, don’t hesitate to reach out to Shared Conceptions today.