Step 1: Starting treatment.Before IVF, you’ll have an evaluation of your uterus and fallopian tubes to make sure there are no issues that require surgical repair. Pre-cycle testing includes hormonal evaluation to assess thyroid function and ovarian reserve, screening both partners for sexually transmitted infection, and a semen analysis of the male partner.
Step 2: Ovarian stimulation.Ovarian stimulation is the process of inducing ovarian follicular development and oocyte maturation using medications. Stimulation can be used to induce a normal menstrual cycle (i.e. a cycle in which a single, mature oocyte is released) in an anovulatory women (i.e. a woman who does not have periods)
Step 3: Trigger injection.A trigger shot is an injection of hormones that signals the ovaries to mature and release eggs. The shot contains human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) that sends a trigger to the ovary to mature and release an egg. The shot kickstarts the process of an egg maturing to help it become capable of fertilization.
Step 4: Egg retrieval and semen collection.Sperm for the IVF process is usually collected prior to the egg retrieval. The man is asked to abstain from sex for two to five days prior to the collection, which is usually achieved through masturbation. Stress can sometimes inhibit the man’s ability to produce a specimen when needed.
Step 5: Fertilisation (insemination) and embryo development. The fertilized egg (zygote) begins to develop into a hollow ball of cells called the blastocyst. The blastocyst implants in the wall of uterus. The amniotic sac begins to form. The area that will become the brain and spinal cord (neural tube) begins to develop.
Step 6: Embryo transferOnce the embryos have developed, the embryologist will select one to be transferred back to the womb during an embryo transfer procedure. It is a painless and quick procedure. The embryo(s) are loaded into a fine catheter and this is placed into the womb and the embryo(s) are expelled. After the embryo transfer, the patient can resume her usual activities. Two weeks after the embryo transfer, a pregnancy test should be performed and Gynist should be informed of the result.
Step 7: Luteal phase. The luteal phase is one stage of your menstrual cycle. It occurs after ovulation (when your ovaries release an egg) and before your period starts. During this time, the lining of your uterus normally gets thicker to prepare for a possible pregnancy.
Step 8: Pregnancy test. Your doctor will likely schedule a blood test 10 to 14 days after the egg retrieval. The blood test will detect and measure the hormone hCG, the “pregnancy hormone.” You should not take an early at-home pregnancy test during IVF treatment. If a pregnancy is confirmed, you’ll be followed with blood tests and eventually, ultrasounds, to confirm viability and whether there’s a multiple pregnancy. If the pregnancy appears normal at 9-10 weeks, you’ll be referred back to your obstetrician!