In vitro fertilization, also called IVF, combines and egg and sperm outside the body in a laboratory. It can be an ideal choice for same sex couples or those struggling with difficulties conceiving to achieve a successful pregnancy. The process of in vitro fertilization is completed in a series of steps, after which the mother is monitored for signs of a successful pregnancy.
To provide the best chances of a successful pregnancy, medication is taken to promote the ripening and release of multiple eggs during an ovulation cycle. Medication may be taken orally, self-injected, or given during a physician’s appointment. The status of the eggs and ovaries is monitored using ultrasound, while hormonal levels are determined with blood and urine testing.
Sperm and Egg Retrieval
Once a number of eggs have matured, they are retrieved during a minimally-invasive surgical procedure performed under local anesthesia. A needle is inserted into the ovaries, guided by ultrasound, to extract the eggs. This is called follicular aspiration. Sperm are generally retrieved via ejaculation, but may be removed directly from the testes in the case of a vasectomy or other infertility issue.
The eggs and sperm are brought together in a laboratory setting to achieve fertilization. In some cases, this will occur naturally; in others, poor-quality sperm may be injected directly into the egg in a process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Once fertilized, the embryos are watched carefully to ensure healthy cell division.
Once the embryos have matured slightly, a number decided upon by the couple and their fertility doctor are injected into the uterus via a catheter. Multiple embryos are injected to increase the chances of implantation and pregnancy. Rest is prescribed, and any signs of early pregnancy are followed up with ultrasound and blood testing.
If you have questions about IVF and what it means for you, contact Dallas IVF at (469) 287-8179. Our experienced doctors have consistently helped thousands of couples achieve healthy pregnancies. Click through our website to learn more about in our other Dallas area fertility services.