In-vitro fertilization is a complex series of procedures used to treat fertility and assist with the conception of a child. It is the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology. The process is comprised of three phases, ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval and embryo fertilization & implantation. Each of these phases is comprised of multiple steps to facilitate conception, pregnancy, and the birth of a healthy baby. It is important that couples exploring in vitro fertilization in Chandigarh as a fertility treatment option have a clear picture of what the IVF process and timeline look like.
Here is a detailed outline of step-by-step IVF cycle timeline.
Step 1- Menstrual Cycle Suppression
The start of your menstrual cycle will trigger the start of your IVF cycle as your body gears up for its natural ovulation process. In most cases, once the periods begin, the doctor will administer oral contraceptives that help to regulate hormone level and also limit any potential cysts from developing. The oral contraceptives are typically taken for 2-4 weeks. In addition to contraceptive, you will also be daily given injections of Lupron, which completes the pre-stimulation ovarian suppression and is used for 2 weeks.
Step 2- Ovarian Stimulation
When your ovaries and hormones are in sync, then you are ready to begin the ovarian stimulation process. The ovaries are primed to release multiple viable eggs in order to create healthy embryos. The process is done using fertility hormone injections which consist of Follistim, Manopur, Gonal-F, Bravelle, Repronex or a combination of these injections. Ovarian stimulation lasts between 8-12 days. The process is monitored via estrogen levels and ultrasound. When the egg follicles are mature, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) injection is given to stimulate the egg release. Timing is essential as eggs need to be retrieved 36 hours after HCG.
Step 3- Egg Retrieving
The process is performed under anaesthesia because it is mildly invasive. The process is also known as Ultrasound Directed Follicular Aspiration (UDFA). This allows the doctor to delicately remove the available ripe or viable eggs. When you wake up, the doctor will tell you how many eggs were retrieved.
Step 4- Egg Fertilization
Sperm is required to fertilize eggs. If you are using your partner’s sperm, he would have already provided the sample or can be scheduled to provide the same day as your eggs are retrieved or donor sperm can also be used. The eggs are fertilized within hours of retrieval. It takes 3 days for embryos to mature and then tested for genetic viability. Results are obtained between 24 and 48 hours. If the viable embryo is present, you will be scheduled for embryo transfer.
Stage 5- Embryo Transfer
This is where it really gets exciting. At this point, the viable embryo will be transferred to your uterus. You won’t need to be anaesthetized as the doctor uses tiny, slender tube to transfer a 3-day to 5-day old embryo into your uterus. If there are spare viable embryos, they will be cryogenically frozen for future use if needed.
Stage 6- Pregnancy Testing
The tiny embryo will float around in your uterus and can take up to a week to attach to the uterine lining. Implantation stimulates pregnancy hormones which are required to signal that you are pregnant. You will be tested for pregnancy on day 15 after embryo transfer to check if it is implanted. You will be given progesterone suppositories throughout the 1st trimester to help diminish chances of miscarriage.
The above is a general overview of the IVF timeline. These times can vary according to your particular infertility diagnosis, your body’s hormone level and its response to various treatment steps.
Are you interested in learning more about in vitro fertilization treatments in Chandigarh and whether or not they are right for you? Contact Jannee Fertility Centre to schedule a consultation.
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