In-vitro fertilization (IVF) has grown to become one of the most popular means of bringing an end to all the psychological and cultural stress that is associated with infertility. IVF, alongside other methodologies, is often described as assisted reproductive therapy (ART). Although IVF involves both a man and a woman, the preponderance of the whole process lies more on the woman than the man.
IVF procedures from diagnosis to embryo transfer is being carried out in a specialized area of the hospital setting called the IVF clinic although some IVF clinics are independent of other health services and are not attached to any hospital. When a couple or person who desires to have a child through reproductive assistance comes to the IVF clinic, a lot of things do happen. But we’ll tell you in this post, seven things that will happen to you when you come to the IVF clinic. Let’s dive in.
Diagnosis and Counselling
The IVF doctor or specialist needs to ascertain if you’re fit for an IVF procedure, and you also need to know the pros, cons, effects, and risks of undergoing an IVF procedure. For this purpose, you need to be medically examined for fitness. Generally, both the man and the woman involved undergoing general medical assessments to rule out possible infections or genetic deficiencies that may compromise the procedure or bring future harm to the child. However, on a precise note, the man will undergo a semen analysis to ascertain the status of the sperms while the woman undergoes ovarian reserve testing and uterine cavity examination to also determine the quality and quantity of the ova and the physiologic architecture of the uterus. After these medical diagnoses, whose results may take a few days to be out, the persons involved are ushered into the counseling units for counseling. Here the purpose of IVF is explained to the couple, the procedures and their requirements, the risk factors, and various ways of mitigating them for a successful child formation, growth, and birth.
Natural Menstrual Cycle Suppression
The next thing that happens is that your natural menstrual cycle will be suppressed. This is done using an injection or nasal spray medication for about two weeks. With this suppression, your ovaries are prepared to respond to another menstrual cycle, stimulating drugs properly. This suppression therapy will last for about two weeks.
Multiple Egg Production Induction
When you return to the IVF clinic after two weeks of drug-induced menstrual cycle suppression, you will be administered with hormones that will trigger your egg supply and release (ovulation). Primarily, a dose of either synthetic follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) or luteinizing hormone or a combination of both. These medications are also daily injections, and it will take about 10-14 days before an adequate number of eggs is ascertained to be produced with the aid of vaginal ultrasound scan and some hormonal estimation. Many eggs are significant here against the single one that is produced during the regular cycle. For this purpose, you must adhere to this medication strictly, and this emphasizes why you should take the counseling sessions.
This procedure is the first invasive thing that happens to you in an IVF clinic, and it could be discomforting, and in some cases, bleeding and cramps do ensue almost immediately. Hence, the need for sedation. You will be sedated, and then a thin needle alongside an ultra-scan probe for guidance will be inserted into the vagina to both ovaries. Once the follicles are identified, they are removed using a small needle, and within 20-30 minutes, many eggs would have been removed if there was a successful IVF cycle. In some cases, this method isn’t sufficient.
Then a suction instrument called a laparoscope is used to aspirate the eggs–a process called laparoscopy, and in advance care cases, ovarian surgery may be used to aspirate the eggs. Note that these eggs are not released naturally. So, it is done before physiologic ovulation and after a minimum of 35 hours after the last multiple egg stimulation injections.
Sperm Collection and Fertilization
This is literally the only thing that physically happens to a man in the IVF clinic after counseling. Sperm is collected through either masturbation, testicular aspiration or testicular surgery and must be ready on the morning of egg retrieval. Once, the egg and the sperm are both prepared in the laboratory, the egg is fertilized by either insemination (Egg and sperm are mixed together for fertilization.) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) where a single sperm is inserted explicitly into an egg for fertilization.
All the eggs will not be fertilized, so the few fertilized eggs will be selected, and the best will be chosen for implantation. Before implantation, your doctor may carry pre genetic testing or assisted hatching. The embryo transfer is usually done 2-6 days after egg retrieval, and a catheter is used. The catheter is passed from the vagina to the uterus, then nursery embryos are injected into the uterus through the catheter, and then you’ll be placed under progesterone.
After 12 days, you will be tested for pregnancy, and if you’re pregnant, you will be directed to an obstetrician for proper prenatal care. We’ve listed six things that will happen to you in an IVF clinic. All these are medically related, and the more significant burden rests on the women than the men. However, we promised you seven things, and we’ll keep our promise.
There are a lot of things your doctor will let you know about before you commence your IVF cycle and treatment. Some of them include the percentage probability of getting pregnant (which is about 50%), the possibilities of birth complications and child deformities, the indispensable side effects, the cost and the overall risks such as ovarian hyperstimulation, ectopic pregnancy, infections, and cancer all cause you some worries. Eventually, with many thoughts over these, you will begin to build some stress and emotional trauma. In most cases, this is not inevitable.
Being in an IVF clinic is being in a setting where your infertility worries will all be solved. It is essential to come with faith and high expectations. Many people like you have gone there too and left successful with their kids, and yours won’t be any different. Cheer up!
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