What Is IVF? This question is commonly asked. Well to answer your asked and unasked questions, I came up with this article. It tells you all you need to know about IVF.
Firstly, IVF is an abbreviation for In Vitro Fertilization. This is a type of assistive reproductive technology where by, the eggs from a woman’s ovaries are fertilized with a sperm donor of her choosing (could be a person she’s familiar with like her partner or a relative, or a random sperm donor). This egg is then fertilized, frozen and transferred to a woman’s uterus. The eggs can be transferred to your own uterus or a surrogate’s. IVF success rate varies (woman above the ages of 40 have a lesser rate in terms of life births.).
You must be wondering, why go through all this stress and expenses (because it isn’t cheap?), When you can just develop an embryo the regular way ?. You see, IVF is not just for random people. It is performed to assist people who have fertility issues have children of their own. It is invasive and quite expensive, so you might like to explore other options if you have fertility issues. Visit a doctor to know more about other fertility options asides IVF.
In the meantime,, here is a list of fertility issues that requires an IVF procedure.
- Uterine fibroids
- blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
- abnormal sperm shape
- reduced ovarian function
- low sperm count etc.
At this point, you must be wondering, how much does it cost?. In Nigeria, IVF average cost for a cycle is not less than N 1,000,000, you will spend more on drugs and ancillary services that will be required, this ranges from N1,500,000 depending on the plan of treatment. Just one full cycle of IVF takes about three weeks. Most times they are split into different parts and the procedures take longer.
Steps By Step Procedures On How To Get An IVF
Step1: Identification Of Period Day
This is the first day you start your IVF treatment cycle. Note that the human body differs and your period day might not be the same with someone else. No worries, the fertility nurse will ensure your period day is identified.
Step2: Ovaries Stimulation
After the identification of 1st period day, the next stage is stimulating of ovaries which happens naturally.
Here, Drugs are prescribed to your specific body and treatment plan, to help produce follicles. It is most times in the form of injections. I know it can be a little overwhelming, your fertility nurse will put you through. Another way to ease through things is by involving Your partner.
Your ovaries and follicles will be closely monitored. How they are developing will be checked with blood tests and transvaginal ultrasounds (a probe is inserted internally).
You will be tracked more frequently towards the end of the stimulation stage to perfectly time the ‘trigger injection’.
The trigger injection are very important, they help get the eggs ready for ovulation – the natural process where eggs are released and you have your period. Trigger Injections are monitored closely towards the end of Stimulation to track the perfect time for trigger injections. The eggs will be retrieved before ovulation.
Step3: Egg Retrieval Or Egg Pick Up:
In this stage, the eggs are collected from the ovaries after pass the stimulation and period stages. This procedure takes about 30 minutes. The egg cannot be seen with the naked eyes. It’s in the fluids within the follicles in the ovaries. The eggs taken from the follicles can fairly be identified from the ultrasound (which is usually a number of 8-15 eggs).
You will be given an anesthetic, so it is advisable to you tag a person along because you won’t be able to drive yourself home. Although, you should be okay after 30 minutes.
Step4: Introduction And Preparation Of Sperm
Freshly produced sperm or laboratory prepared sperm is used in this stage. The sperm in question is viewed under a microscopic lens and the perfect sperm is selected. Ready to fertilize the egg.
Step5: The Fertilization:
After individually preparing the egg and the sperm, the next stage is to introduce them, and this can only be achieved through Fertilization. The eggs are removed from the follicles fluid from stage 3. They are put in a dish with the sperm and they find each other the same way it happens naturally.
Step6: Development Of Embryo
After Fertilization comes the embryo. The embryo is placed in a human like acid which promote the growth of the embryo in a incubator. The embryo is nurtured and studied for days till it has gotten to a particular stage which it can be implanted.
The successful growth of the embryo is determined solely on the egg, sperm and how the embryo itself responds to growth. The development of embryo takes a period of 5-8 days.
Step7: Transfer Of Embryo
If you have gotten to this stage, then I congratulate. This stage is where the developed embryo is transferred into the uterus. You will be contacted by your fertility nurses on how to prepare for the transfer. The embryo is placed in a catheter (a small tube like container for storing embryos). The catheter is inserted into the body through the cervix and into the uterus.
This procedure isn’t difficult at all, and doesn’t require any anesthetic. It takes like 5-10 minutes and you are good to carry on with the days activities.
Step8: Blood Test/ Pregnancy Test:
The blood test is the final stage and is done two weeks after transferring the embryo into the uterus. This stage is required in order to test the level of hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). This is what determines if the embryo is going in uterus. If it is, then it will turn out positive. Which automatically means you are pregnant.
And that’s it! Those are the essential information you need to know about IVF. I hope this article was help.