Fertilization is a procedure by which the male and female gametes fuse to form a zygote that gradually grows into a baby through various stages of development. However, in some cases, the process of fertilization does not take place on its own owing to some underlying health issue or some other problems. IVF is an option for such couples. It stands for in vitro fertilization which is an assisted reproduction technique that involves the collection of healthy gametes from both the intended parents and then placing them in a favourable environment to facilitate fertilization. The zygote so formed is placed in the womb of the female partner where it grows naturally.
At Zeeva, we resort to the use of world-class techniques and methods to give you an experience that is at par with excellence. We offer seamless assistance and guidance from the very beginning to make sure that your IVF journey is worth remembering.
Before initiating the procedure, your reproductive organs will be evaluated to make sure that you have a healthy uterus and body to support the pregnancy post implantation. This also includes a hormonal evaluation to assess the healthy functioning of the thyroid and measure the ovarian reserves. IVF procedure is carried out in various steps each of which is equally important. These are as under:
This is the first and the foremost step of the IVF procedure which involves the harvesting of as many mature eggs as possible. Since the female reproductive cycle is quite complex, the process of ovarian stimulation, too, is a bit complicated. It is mandatory to undergo Fertility testing before initiating the procedure as this helps the doctors to determine a personalized treatment regimen.
Ovarian stimulation is carried out by injecting special medication for around 8 to 14 days, so as to elevate the quality as well quantity of the eggs produced. The medicines, so injected, help to stimulate Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH). The former helps in the production of mature eggs whereas the latter helps to stimulate healthy ovulation.
Once the ovarian stimulation is started, follicular and egg growth is monitored very thoroughly as the whole procedure requires proper timing and care. You will be required to undergo regular tests to make sure that the treatment is progressing very smoothly and to enable the doctors to take the necessary measures for optimizing egg development and numbers. The intended mother is required to undergo regular ultrasound and blood tests.
The egg is retrieved 34 to 36 hours post giving the final injection. The whole procedure is carried out under the influence of anaesthesia such that you do not feel any pain or discomfort. Transvaginal ultrasound aspiration technique is used which is carried out with the help of a tiny needle connected to a suction device.
The eggs are carefully removed from the follicles and collected with the help of the suction device in approximately 20 to 30 minutes. The eggs, thus collected, are preserved in nutritive liquid and incubated to be used for fertilization.
Once the eggs are collected, these are carefully examined to evaluate their maturity and quality. The finest quality eggs are separated and placed in an incubator. The eggs are usually fertilized in two ways - conventional insemination or intra-cytoplasmic injection (ICSI). The former involves the placement of a healthy egg in a pool of sperms and the process of fertilization is allowed to take place naturally, however, in case of the latter, the healthy sperm is directly injected into the healthy ovum for inducing fertilization.
This is an additional step required in the case of older women. It is a micromanipulation procedure in which a small hole is made in the wall that surrounds the embryo in the initial stages. Normally this membrane dissolves on its own, however, if the doctors feel the need, assisted hatching is done just before the embryo transfer.
The embryo is usually transferred within a week following the egg retrieval. However, in case genetic testing is required or in case hormone levels are not in the optimal range, the intended parents might be required to wait a little longer. Till then, the embryo is frozen and preserved in an IVF lab. After the genetic results are out, the healthy embryo is thawed and placed inside the uterus of the intended mother. The number of embryos produced depends upon various factors including the age of the parents. Earlier multiple embryos were placed simultaneously to increase the success rate of the procedure, however, this increases the chances of multiple pregnancies which sometimes adds to the complications. After this step, the female is required to wait for two weeks during which she is required to be extra careful regarding her health.
The final step of the procedure is the pregnancy test which is followed by an ultrasound to endure the viability and negate the risks of multiple pregnancies (in case of multiple embryo transfer).