IVF procedures, or in vitro fertilization, allow couples with infertility issues to conceive a child and expand their family. During IVF, mature eggs are retrieved from the ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. The fertilized embryos are then implanted in the uterus with the hopes that one with latch and lead to a pregnancy. If you’re considering this procedure, the guide below discusses what to expect.
Preparing for an IVF Cycle
An IVF cycle describes one round of IVF procedures and treatments. A few weeks prior to beginning a cycle, you and your partner will likely undergo several screenings, including ovarian reserve testing, or the quality and quantity of your eggs and a semen analysis.
The doctor will also conduct infectious disease screenings and a uterine exam. They’ll conduct a mock embryo transfer, in which the doctor will determine the best technique to use to place the embryos into your uterus. After these screenings, an IVF cycle begins on the first day of your period. One cycle of IVF can last about two to three weeks.
What Happens During an IVF Procedure
If you’re using your own eggs, you’ll begin the cycle with ovarian stimulation, which will cause your ovaries to produce multiple eggs instead of a single one that is released each month. This is often done with an injection of a combination of fertility drugs.
After a week or two of ovarian stimulation, your doctor will determine when your eggs are ready to be retrieved through a vaginal ultrasound or blood tests. During retrieval, you’ll be sedated while the eggs are surgically removed from your ovaries. The eggs that appear healthy and mature will then be incubated before joining them with sperm from your partner or from a donor. You might feel cramping, tenderness, or fatigue.
If the eggs are fertilized, five days after retrieval, they’ll be placed into your uterus during embryo transfer. Be sure to freeze extra eggs. This part is typically painless, but you may be given a mild sedative. A successful embryo transfer means that an embryo will implant in the lining of your uterus. About two weeks after egg retrieval, your doctor will test whether you’re pregnant.
When you’re dealing with struggles to become pregnant, you need a compassionate and experienced fertility team by your side. Dr. Ndidimaka Onwubalili and Dr. Matan Yemini at the Diamond Institute for Infertility & Menopause will walk you through every step of the IVF procedure to ensure you feel comfortable. Serving the Millburn, NJ, community, these knowledgeable doctors help couples conceive through various methods, including surrogacy and egg donation. Call (973) 761-5600 to schedule an appointment or visit their website to browse their services.