When you think of common fertility treatments, In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) appears top of the list.
Infertility means not being able to get pregnant after at least one year of unprotected sex (or six months if the woman is 35 or older). Women who can get pregnant but are unable to stay pregnant may also be infertile
Once this is noticed, it is important to seek medical help from a specialist. Before commencing the treatment process, you will be required to carry out series of tests both you and your partner. Your chances of having a healthy baby using IVF depend on many factors, such as age and the cause of infertility. Here’s a closer look at the IVF process in five steps:

You’ll be given fertility drugs that will begin a process called ‘stimulation’. In other words, the drugs which contain Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) will tell your body to produce more than just the normal one egg per month.
The more eggs you produce, the more chances you’ll have of a successful fertilization later on in the treatment.
You’ll also receive trans-vaginal ultrasounds and blood tests on a regular basis during this step in the IVF process to check on your ovaries and monitor your hormone levels.

Egg retrieval is a minor surgical procedure that is carried out 34 to 36 hours after the final injection and before ovulation. You will be sedated during the whole process.
Trans-vaginal ultrasound aspiration is the usual retrieval method. An ultrasound probe is inserted into your vagina to identify follicles. Then a thin needle is inserted into an ultrasound guide to go through the vagina and into the follicles to retrieve the eggs. The needle has a device attached to it that suctions the eggs out one at a time.
If this part sounds painful, don’t worry you’ll be given pain medication so that you won’t feel any discomfort. You may experience some cramping afterward, but this usually disappears within a day. Kindly report to your doctor if cramping persists.
Multiple eggs can be removed in about 20 minutes. Mature eggs are placed in a nutritive liquid (culture medium) and incubated.
If you’re using your partner’s sperm, a semen sample needs to be provided at the clinic the morning of egg retrieval.

Now comes the part of IVF that everyone’s the most familiar with, which is combining the best sperm with your best eggs. This stage is called insemination.
It usually takes a few hours for a sperm to fertilize an egg. Your doctor may also inject the sperm directly into the egg instead, a process known as Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).

Once your eggs have been collected you’ll receive yet another medication. This one is meant to prep the lining of your uterus to receive the embryos that will be transferred back into you.
About three to five days after fertilization, your doctor will place the embryos in your uterus using a catheter. A syringe containing one or more embryos suspended in a small amount of fluid is attached to the end of the catheter. This process is often painless and carried out while you are awake.

Multiple embryos are transferred back into you with the hope that at least one will implant itself in the lining of your uterus and begin to develop. Sometimes more than one embryo ends up implanting, which is why multiples are common in women who use IVF.
If successful, an embryo will implant in the lining of your uterus about 6 to 10 days after egg retrieval.
After the embryo transfer, you can resume your usual daily activities. However, your ovaries may still be enlarged. Consider avoiding vigorous activity, which could cause discomfort.
The IVF process basically replicates natural reproduction. The next step after the IVF process determines whether the procedure worked, and that’s the pregnancy test. CONGRATULATIONS IN ADVANCE!

Here at JOJE Fertility Centre our aim is always to make your fertility journey with us as positive and successful as possible.  Every fertility journey is unique and so are you.  We understand how important this journey is and we want to be there for you every step of the way.   Our fertility team will be there to support you  and to help you choose the most appropriate fertility treatment; creating a plan specific to your needs.

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