IVF (In vitro fertilization) or test tube baby as it is commonly called is a procedure in which eggs and the sperms are fertilized outside the body and then transferred back to the womb after 2-5 Days.IVF may be considered if,
- You have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility
- Your fallopian tubes are blocked
- Other techniques such as fertility drugs or intrauterine insemination (IUI) have not been successful
- The male partner has fertility problems and an abnormal semen analysis
- You are using your partner’s frozen sperm in your treatment and IUI is not suitable for you
- You are using donated eggs or your own frozen eggs in your treatment
- You are using embryo testing to avoid passing on a genetic condition to your child.
- You have severe endometriosis
Your treatment cycle would be as follows
Step 1: Once you have decided to go ahead with IVF, you will undergo a day care procedure called hysteroscopy to assess the suitability of the uterus to hold the baby. It is generally done one month before your IVF cycle and involves the introduction of a small camera into the womb through the vagina to visualize the inside of the uterus. You will be given anesthesia during the procedure and hence there will be no pain.
Step 2: Your husband has to freeze one semen sample as a backup.
Step 3: Typically your treatment would begin on the second or third day of periods. It involves a scan and hormone tests followed by daily injections for about 8-10 days, along with monitoring by scan and hormone tests in between. Once the eggs are sufficiently grown as per the scan and hormone tests, you will receive injection Hcg as a ovulation trigger.
Step 4: Egg retrieval is performed transvaginally 35 – 36 hours later, with light anesthesia, using a transvaginal ultrasound guidance. You will be discharged same evening, unless there are problems associated with bleeding, undue pain or ovarian hyperstimulation.
Step 5: After retrieval, eggs are assessed for their maturity. Meanwhile husband has to give a fresh semen sample. Mature eggs are injected with the sperms on the same day and grown in the incubator for 3-5 days.
Step 6: The final step is the embryo transfer. 3-5 days after your egg retrieval, two or three embryos are selected and gently transferred into the womb using an abdominal ultrasound guidance. The procedure is usually painless, no anesthesia is required and you will be discharged in about two to three hours.
Step 7: You will be given certain supportive medications starting from the day of egg retrieval till your pregnancy check. You will be called for a pregnancy check 16-17 days after your embryo transfer.