What does the process of IVF involve?

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What does the process of IVF involve?

What does the process of IVF involve?

Some people who are not able to conceive naturally might need Assisted Reproduction Techniques to achieve their reproductive goals. You might have heard of IVF In Vitro Fertilisation –  it is the most commonly known technique of assisted reproduction.

Reasons to pursue Assisted Reproduction Techniques:

1) Female causes:

  • Fallopian tube problems
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovulation problems
  • Hormonal problems

2) Male causes:

  • Low sperm count/motility/morphology
  • Congenital problems

3) Unexplained Infertility

Stages of the IVF Cycle

IVF has different stages and your clinic will guide you all the way through. However it is important to be aware of what to expect at each step of the journey.

There are two types of IVF:

IVF ICSI - inFertile Life

Once the egg and sperm have been combined, they are kept in a special solution for 16-18 hours, after which they are checked to ascertain the development of pronuclei which contains DNA from the egg and sperm.

When pronuclei has developed, the fertilesed eggs are kept in a special culture for 5 days where it will develop to blastocyst stage.

Fertilised egg - inFertile Life

The embryologist will identify which embryos have developed normally to be transferred into the uterus.

Embryo transfer - inFertile Life

Due to the risk associated with multiple births to both mother and baby, HFEA recommends that clinics have a single embryo transfer policy in place. This means that in the UK, we try to transfer one embryo at at time. Remaining embryos can be frozen (cryopreserved) for future transfers.

Research has shown that a single transfer of a good quality embryo does not reduce the pregnancy rate.

Assisted Reproduction Techniques can be very useful and help you achieve your reproductive goals. Doctors and embryologists need to be very skilled handling eggs, sperm and embryos as they are very fragile outside the human body.

However, skilled professionals is not all it takes to be successful with IVF. Professionals need good quality eggs, sperm and uterus lining. And this is where you can play an important part: research shows that certain lifestyles can help you achieve this.

The Enhanced Fertility Programme supports you in making changes in your lifestyle that improve your fertility and may help you conceive either naturally or with assisted reproduction techniques. You can join the programme here.

Andreia Trigo

Nurse Specialist | NLP Coach of 2017 | TEDx Speaker

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