Thursday, January 22, 2015

IVF 101 - what every infertile couples need to know

 In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) took birth around 35-years ago, and since that time, it has traversed a long way and evolved into an extremely sophisticated and accessible procedure.  IVF helps couples overcome a range of fertility issues. For people who are unable to have children in the conventional way, IVF becomes the knight in shining armour.

It's important that patients understand the basics of IVF, so they can select the right IVF doctor. The IVF procedure is complex and needs a high level of experience. The 5-step procedure spans a few days. It includes preparation of the ovaries and the uterus, to the ultimate insertion of the prepared embryos.


Regardless of whether you have undergone any fertility treatments or not, understanding more about the IVF procedure can be really helpful. If you are planning on having In Vitro Fertilization, here’s what to expect:

•    Step 1- The couple will be tested and the ovaries will be prepared for stimulation.  A number of women undergo a test in which the doctors will test the uterus and a mock transfer will be actioned. This helps the doctor “map” the uterine cavity to ensure that the embryo transfer is smooth & atraumatic. This mock transfer is akin to a pap smear. After this pre-test, the IVF cycle commences. Many women are given birth control pills to synchronize the growth of the eggs in the  follicles

•    Step 2- In this step, the ovaries are stimulated & monitored. In any IVF cycle, it is helpful to have as many mature eggs as possible. The greater the number of eggs, better the chances of success.  For about 8-10 days, the woman is injected with HMG drugs that spur the ovaries onto producing multiple eggs. In this phase, the woman is required to visit the IVF clinic 2-3 times for ultrasound scans which are used to monitor egg development

•    Step 3: After the stimulation stage, the woman is given a trigger HCG shot. This shot provides the final maturation of the eggs, which would now be ready for harvesting. This is the most crucial step in the IVF procedure since the doctors harvest the eggs in this stage. Timing is of essence and the eggs cannot be harvested either too early or too late. Generally, egg retrieval is performed around 36 hours after the final trigger shot.

•    Step 4: This is the stage in which the embryo development takes place. The eggs are fertilized with the partner/donor sperm, in a laboratory. After about 16-18 hours, they are checked to ascertain if fertilization has occurred. If the eggs are fertilized, after 3-5 days the best 2 or 3 embryos are chosen for transfer

•    Step 5: This is the final stage in which the actual embryo transfer occurs. The number of embryos transferred into the uterus depends on the age and health of the woman, after considering the risk associated with multiple births

Before going in for IVF, you need to be well prepared. You can watch  a film about IVF  at

You can download a free IVF app at

When Expertise Counts

After approximately 14 days of the egg retrieval, the woman is asked to take a pregnancy test to see if implantation has taken place. If the embryo has successfully implanted, the pregnancy test would show up as positive. This is typically how an successful IVF procedure runs and “baby dreams” reach fruition.

The experienced doctors at clinics such as the Malpani Infertility Clinic have the knowledge and expertise to help you with a successful IVF procedure. Need more information? Get a free second opinion from Dr Malpani by filling in the Free Second Opinion form.

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