In Vitro Fertilization

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IVF In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a medical procedure for collecting eggs, maturing them (if necessary) and fertilising them in vitro. The fertilized egg (eggs), also called an embryo, is then implanted into the uterus where it is expected to stick to wall of the uterus and develop into a fetus. The procedure is quite common, but, obviously, it can't guarantee the success of the pregnancy, for various reasons, some of them related to the woman's physical capability to bear a full term pregnancy.


The process of In Vitro Fertilization

The process of in vitro fertilization takes several months and is not always successful. A GnRH analog is given to inhibit follicular development. (For more info, please see causes and reasons for infertility). This is followed by gonadotrophin injections able to encourage follicle development. When the ultrasound results show a mature follicle, a hCG injection is given to stimulate the follicles to release the eggs.

Under sedation or general anaesthesia, the eggs are collected through the vagina with an aspiration needle.

The eggs are placed into a culture dish and fertilized with sperm.

After a few days, the healthiest embryos are transferred to the uterus with a soft catheter through the cervix.

Hopefully, one of the embryos will become successfully implanted in the wall of the uterus. To aid implantation, the patient may be given hCG or progesterone. Apart from being quite expensive, the process of in vitro fertilization is known to change the lifestyle and often adding considerable pressure to the couple trying to conceive, mainly due to the synthetic hormones administrated. A cycle could cost around £10,000 and you might need several cycles in order to get pregnant. After all, only 20%-50% of all the IVF patients succeed in their efforts. You might also need to check with your insurance company if you are covered for IVF treatment. To meet new people undertaking IVF treatment and to share opinions and advice, please visit the BabyWonderland forum.