An IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) procedure is an assisted reproductive technology that involves the fertilization of the eggs by retrieval of a sperm sample and physically reuniting the sperm and the egg. The resulting fertilized egg is then transferred into the mother or a surrogates womb for fertilization.
The process of IVF starts with the onset of the womans regular menstrual cycle. The subsequent procedure consists of the following five steps:
; Stage one: In this stage, fertility medication is administered to the woman so as to stimulate the production of eggs. A number of eggs are produced so as to give room for several eggs to not result in fertilisation.
A trans vaginal ultrasound is then conducted in order to determine the overall health of the ovaries. Blood tests are also conducted in order to check the levels of the hormones in the womans body
; Stage two: Stage two of the IVF Cycle involves the extraction of the womans eggs. This surgical procedure is performed by directing a hollow needle through the womans pelvic cavity in order to extract the eggs, while performing an ultrasound at the same time. The woman may also be put on certain medications in order to numb pain or minimise any discomfort that the woman must be feeling.
; Stage three: In the third stage of the IVF cycle, a sperm sample is extracted from the man.
; Stage four: A procedure known as Insemination comprises of the fourth step. In this step, the sperm and the egg are mixed in a petri dish. This petri dish is then stored in cool, dry and safe place so as to promote fertilization. An Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) may be utilised in cases where there is low chances of fertility. In this procedure, a single sperm is injected directly into the egg so as to boost the possibility of fertilization. In order to ascertain the occurrence of cell division and fertilization, the fertilised eggs are supervised. As soon as the eggs are fertilised, these embryos are then ready to be transferred into the womans body.
; Stage five: The fertilised embryos are ready to be transferred into the womans body almost 2 to f4 days post egg retrieval and fertilisation. In order to do so, a small tube known as a catheter is utilised. The process of the transfer of the embryos is a virtually painless procedure, although some women experience cramping, similar to that experienced during menstrual periods. Almost six to eight days post egg retrieval, the embryo gets implanted onto the walls of the uterus. Post the procedure, the woman is permitted to go home.
Once the procedure has been completed, additional viable embryos are frozen and preserved. A primary progesterone suppository is positioned in the womans vagina at the time the embryo is being transferred. Once the initial implantation of the embryo is completed, the woman is asked to use additional suppositories twice a day every day until the end of the first trimester of her pregnancy.