Couples who experience difficulties conceiving naturally often opt for in vitro fertilization (IVF) to get pregnant. IVF is among the most successful assisted reproductive technology options involving egg retrieval and fertilization outside the body. Experts in fertility clinics then transfer the embryo into the patient's uterus, where it implants itself and develops into a fetus.
Fertility specialists can opt for two different embryo transfer types: either a fresh transfer or a frozen embryo transfer. New embryo transfers happen several days after your egg retrieval procedure, so the process can help you become pregnant immediately.
In frozen embryo transfers, your retrieved eggs are preserved for future use. When you are ready to get pregnant, the experts will thaw the frozen eggs, then transfer them into your uterus. This article highlights fertility experts' key steps to ensure a successful IVF treatment.
Estrogen or Hormonal Birth Control Pills
Your fertility expert may prescribe estrogen or hormonal birth control pills to manage cyst development in your ovaries. Such pills also help women who experience an irregular menstrual cycle to control its timing. A regular menstrual cycle allows fertility specialists to retrieve mature oocytes and time the retrieval process correctly for optimal egg count.
Stimulation of the Ovarian Sac
During a woman's natural ovulation cycle, only one oocyte matures enough to ovulate, forcing the other eggs to disintegrate. Fertility specialists inject IVF patients with hormones that facilitate ovarian stimulation. Ovarian stimulation allows many eggs to mature, increasing the success chances of your IVF procedure.
Within the ovarian follicle stimulation process, fertility experts use blood hormone levels and ultrasounds to monitor your ovarian response. The ultrasounds allow your doctor to measure follicle sizes and identify maturing eggs. Depending on your ultrasound results, your doctor can prescribe trigger shots to aid egg maturation before retrieval.
Egg retrieval is possible through follicular aspiration - minor surgical procedure doctors use to remove mature eggs. Follicular aspiration is a straightforward procedure, so it is commonly regarded as an outpatient service unless there are complications. Your doctor will insert a needle in each ovary with the guidance of an ultrasound. The needle retrieves the eggs from each follicle with the help of a suction device.
While the egg retrieval procedure may sound uncomfortable, doctors use sedation and other medication to help reduce discomfort. Collected eggs are set in a lab dish with a special solution. This lab dish is placed inside an incubator for a controlled environment, increasing the success chances for the IVF procedure.
During egg retrieval, fertility doctors also collect a semen sample from your partner or donor. They spin and clean the sample to identify viable sperms selected for the fertilization process. Feasible and mature sperm are injected into mature eggs to create embryos for the IVF procedure.
Once fertilized, the embryos are closely monitored to ensure the egg is strong enough to survive. Fertilized eggs must reach the blastocyst stage before doctors can transfer them into your uterus. Embryos that fail to make it to this stage are discarded since they are highly unlikely to survive pregnancy.
Depending on your preferences, you can have the embryos transferred to your uterus now or frozen to use in the future. Fresh embryos will be transferred directly to your uterus within days after retrieval. You will be treated with the hormones needed to allow the embryo to attach and grow.
For frozen embryo transfers, fertility doctors offer hormones through injections or oral and vaginal pills. These hormones prepare your uterus ahead of the embryo transfer, allowing it to implant successfully.
Pregnancy and Follow-up Visits
Once the embryo implants itself on the uterine wall, your pregnancy period begins. Fertility doctors will conduct blood tests several days after the transfer to ascertain that you are pregnant. Many IVF pregnancies result in live births with little to no complications.
Fertility doctors recommend frequent clinical visits and check-ups to avoid complications. Your doctor will examine the state of the pregnancy with each follow-up visit and help manage any risks for a successful IVF procedure.
Visit Reputable Fertility Clinics for Successful IVF
IVF treatment helps people experiencing challenges conceiving naturally to get pregnant and potentially become parents. Fertility doctors can use fresh or frozen embryo transfer options after egg retrieval to help you get pregnant, depending on your preferences. Work with reputable fertility clinics to increase the chances of a successful IVF.