THE IN VITRO FERTILIZATION (IVF) PROCESS
The IVF process is when:
- A woman’s egg and a man’s sperm are combined outside of the body in a laboratory dish to achieve fertilization.
- The fertilized embryo(s) are then placed directly into the uterus with the hopes of producing a successful pregnancy.
In vitro fertilization is extremely safe and effective. The pregnancy rate by age is similar to that of pregnancy from natural conception, and the rate of miscarriages with IVF pregnancies is about the same as with normally conceived pregnancies.
HOW DOES IN VITRO FERTILIZATION WORK?
First, women may be given hormones to stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs prior to the in vitro process. A needle is inserted through the vagina into the ovary to remove eggs, and the fluid that is removed is examined carefully to ensure there are eggs present. The male provides a semen sample, and the sperm are separated from the semen in a laboratory. The active sperm are then combined with the eggs in a laboratory dish.
After 18 hours or so, it can be determined if the IVF process worked. Viable embryos are incubated and observed over the next couple of days. Finally, the embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus. If the in vitro process worked, the woman will test positive for pregnancy.
HOW LONG DOES IVF TAKE?
An average IVF cycle takes about 6 to 8 weeks from consultation to transfer, but it can vary depending on the specific circumstances of each the path is similar for every patient. What varies is how your body responds at each stage.
IUI VS IVF
Choosing which is right for you between IUI and IVF depends on your budget, your age, and the conditions of both partners reproductive organs. Both procedures have promising histories of being successful, and it is up to you to decide which path you are most comfortable with. Trying IUI is often recommended first, but if time is a factor for you or you fall on the more challenging end of cases, IVF may be the better route to go. Talk over your situation with your doctor and consider the outcomes carefully.