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IVF Explained: 5-Step Procedure of IVF

If you are planning to take the IVF route to embrace parenthood, read about the procedure in detail to prepare yourself.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarUpdated at: May 19, 2023 21:37 IST
IVF Explained: 5-Step Procedure of IVF

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#KhushkhabriWithIVF:  IVF or In-Vitro Fertilisation is one of the top treatments to plan a pregnancy in couples who are dealing with problems in natural conception. Over the years, the popularity and utilisation of IVF has increased which is primarily due to the increased number of IVF centres across the country. According To AIIMS, about 10-15% of Indians are experiencing fertility complications lately which is also a potential cause of increased IVF births in the country. Through our campaign ‘Khush Khabri With IVF’, we aim to decode all the information related to IVF procedure. In this article, Dr Anu Sadashiv, Reproductive Medicine Specialist at Milann Fertility and Birthing Hospital KumaraPark Bangalore explains the five major steps or stages of IVF that would add to your knowledge about IVF. Besides, couples who are planning IVF for pregnancy can prepare themselves for the procedure when they know everything in advance.

Stages Of IVF Explained

IVF is a treatment that combines medicines and surgical procedures to assist laboratory egg fertilisation. Here are five main steps involved in the IVF procedure.

Step 1- Ovarian Stimulation

This is the primary step which is done to stimulate ovarian functions. Doctors give injectable hormones to stimulate egg production so that the ovaries produce several eggs in a month.

This step is important to retrieve healthy eggs. It also increases the possibility of successful embryo formation during the IVF procedure. Along with injections, doctors may also prescribe fertility medications for better results. Generally, it takes ten days for the eggs to be ready for collection.

Also Read: IVF Queries: Can I consider IVF After Miscarriage? Success Rates, Options and More

Stages Of IVF

Step 2- Egg Retrieval

The second step is retrieval of the eggs. This is done at the IVF clinic and takes around 15-20 minutes. Through transvaginal ultrasound-guided aspiration surgical procedure, eggs are collected. These are then kept in a culture medium to preserve for fertilisation procedure. Women may experience mild cramps after this procedure which is very common. In case anyone experiences chronic pain, consult your doctor immediately.

Step 3- Sperm Collection

The third step is retrieval of sperm cells. The male partner is asked to give his semen sample to retrieve sperms for the fertilisation procedure. In another case, donor sperm are taken for the procedure.

Also Read: Egg Freezing: How Is It Better Than IVF And Who May Consider It?

Step 4- Fertilisation

Steps Of IVF

This is the most crucial step of IVF. The eggs and sperm collected previously are fertilised in a laboratory. There are two methods for this process:

Conventional Insemination or natural fertilisation- This is the conventional method wherein the doctor would mix healthy eggs and sperms in a laboratory dish and mix them.

Intracytoplasmic Fertilisation- This method is used in cases of infertility. In this method, one sperm is injected into each egg. It may take about 20 hours for the fertilisation to happen. Depending upon the case, clinics may preserve the fertilised egg for up to weeks before implantation.

Step 5- Embryo Transfer

This is the final and most important step of the IVF procedure. The fertilised egg or embryo is transferred to the mother's uterus through a catheter. Here, doctors may transplant one or more embryos to allow multiple pregnancies. This is also done to ensure successful pregnancy, in case, one embryo fails to develop, the other may develop.

These are the five stages of IVF. About two weeks after embryo transfer, doctors ask the mother to take a pregnancy test to find out about the success or failure of IVF. The chances are always 50-50. Some women even go through IVF multiple times but may or may not succeed. Some women get pregnant with multiple babies which is no short of a miracle!

We hope every couple who chooses IVF gets successful.