In Vitro Fertilization, which is commonly called IVF, is a medical procedure that can help to overcome infertility. The process involves manually fertilizing an egg with sperm outside of the body. Once fertilization in the lab environment is complete, the fertilized egg can be implanted in the carrier's uterus. This procedure can be used in many different circumstances, and it is often the first assistive reproductive technology recommended for those with fertility issues. If you cannot conceive due to fallopian tube issues, endometriosis, or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), IVF can bypass these problems and ensure that a healthy, fertilized egg gets into your uterus. IVF is also helpful if the male partner has a lower sperm count. Women can use IVF to carry a fertilized egg, if they or their partner are unable to produce healthy eggs or sperm. In situations where a woman requires a surrogate, IVF is done to fertilize the woman's egg before implanting it in the surrogate.
The first step in IVF is the process of retrieving eggs and sperm. In order to get eggs, the woman will go on a course of hormone treatment to control egg production. After about ten days of hormonal therapy, the ovaries will produce multiple eggs at once. The woman will then be sedated while the mature eggs are collected with a minimally invasive needle aspiration method. Sperm is typically collected through masturbation, but it can also be removed directly from the testicle in cases where there is a blockage.
Both the eggs and sperm will be stored at cold temperatures until needed. When everything is ready, the eggs and sperm are carefully incubated in a glass dish. They are constantly monitored and controlled to ensure optimal fertilization. Once fertilized, a thin, flexible catheter is inserted through the cervix, the lower part of a woman’s uterus, and the fertilized eggs are guided into the uterus. You will then need to wait and see if implantation successfully occurs.