What is IVF?
- In vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Test Tube Baby is a technique where the female eggs and male sperms are fertilized outside the body in a dish under controlled conditions and the resulting embryo is transferred into the uterus where it gets implants to achieve pregnancy.
- The process includes 5 steps as follows –
- Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation (COH) - Developing more number of eggs in the ovaries by means of hormonal injection from day 1 or 2 till day 10 or 11.
- Oocyte Retrieval Procedure (OR) – Collecting the eggs under anesthesia by a needle attached to the probe using transvaginal ultrasonography.
- Sperm Preparation – The semen sample is washed and processed to obtain highly motile sperms with fertilizable potential.
- In vitro Fertilization – The eggs and sperms are kept in a dish for fertilization under appropriate conditions. After 3 days, the resulting embryos are checked for its quality.
- Embryo Transfer (ET) – On day 5 all the embryos are analyzed and 2 – 3 best quality embryos are transferred into the uterus using a catheter under the guidance of abdominal ultrasonography on partial bladder. Transferring more than one embryo can lead to twins or triplets. The exact number of embryos transferred is a complex issue that depends on many factors, especially the quality of embryos, woman’s age, etc. Unused embryos may be frozen and implanted or donated at a later date.