The parents thinking about the in vitro fertilization process should know that it takes about 4-6 weeks and it costs up to $12,000. Although sometimes women get pregnant after the first cycle, there might be need for several cycles to get pregnant. The chances of conceiving are of about 30%-35%.
Ovarian stimulation as part of the IVF process
During this step women have to take ovarian stimulation drugs. These are taken for two weeks. As the name suggests, they are supposed to stimulate the ovaries so they will produce more mature eggs. The doctors use blood testing and ultrasounds to monitor the maturing process of the eggs.
Retrieval of the egg
This is also a step of the process of in vitro fertilization. As the eggs become mature and ready to be retrieved, the doctor collects them through ultrasound aspiration through your vagina. The aspiration is standard procedure that requires a mild anesthesia. Ultrasound is needed to locate the eggs.
Once the eggs are located, a thin needle is inserted into the follicle and they are removed by suction. In case the eggs can’t be found this way for the in vitro fertilization process, there might be need for a laparoscopic type of surgery. This is also a simple procedure, but it needs a stronger type of anesthesia.
How does insemination occur?
This is the third step of the process of IVF. After egg retrieval the eggs are evaluated and the doctors decide which eggs have the highest chances of fertilization. The father has to offer a semen sample and the doctors separate the sperm from the seminal fluid. The motile sperm is combined with the eggs.
During the in vitro fertilization process it takes a few hours for the sperm to fertilize the egg. A day after fertilization the doctors see which eggs are fertilized. In this case they can observe the pronuclei that will later become the embryo. About two days post fertilization the doctors will see the embryo.
Five days post the IVF procedure the embryo becomes a blastocyst. This means that it has a cavity of fluid that will host the placenta and the fetal tissue. The doctors usually don’t observe the embryos this long. Normally they will be inserted into the uterus about a day after fertilization.
The transfer of the embryo
This is one of the most important steps of the in vitro fertilization process. Usually the embryo is inserted into the uterus three days post fertilization. They are inserted through a catheter that is a long, flexible and thin tube linked to a syringe.
The catheter is introduced as part of the IVF process into the uterus through the vagina and the cervix. After the process the mom to be is supposed to stay still for one to two hours. If the new embryo gets embedded into the lining of the uterus the patient will get pregnant.
Now you know all about the in vitro fertilization process. Don’t forget that it is common for the process not to work the first time. In fact, it is a minor miracle if it does.