- You’ve probably at least heard the term „IVF“ before, but if not, it stands for „in vitro fertilization.“
- If you’re considering using IVF to get pregnant, there are some things you should know.
- There are generally a few steps to an IVF cycle and tons of different factors that determine if IVF may be successful.
In vitro fertilization (IVF), is a complicated process and arguably one of the most well-known fertility treatments. You’ve likely at least heard the term before, but you still might not know much about what it is. According to the US National Library of Medicine, IVF is the „joining of a woman’s egg and a man’s sperm in a laboratory dish,“ which can help couples conceive.
You may also know that it takes a lot of time and is quite expensive. But there’s more that you need to know if you’re considering the process for yourself.
IVF might not be the right fertility treatment for you to try.
Though you might know more about IVF than any other fertility treatment, it may not be the right one to help you conceive.
„There’s a lot of other fertility treatments other than IVF out there and if it’s appropriate, the physician should be going through some of those as well,“ Dr. Joshua Kapfhamer, a reproductive endocrinologist and fertility specialist with the Center for Reproductive Medicine, told INSIDER. „Now there are cases where IVF is very clearly indicated and may be necessary, but there are also other cases where less aggressive interventions, if you will, may be very appropriate.“
The egg retrieval process won’t leave you laid up for days and days.
Although you might fear that the egg retrieval process will be an invasive procedure or something that will require you to spend a lot of time at home afterwards to heal, that’s not actually the case.
„It is a very minimally invasive procedure, which does not require general anesthesia,“ Dr. Roohi Jeelani, FACOG, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist, told INSIDER. „You can resume work the next day.“
There are generally a few steps to an IVF cycle.
An IVF cycle has a number of steps. The first step is ovarian stimulation, according to Dr. Tarun Jain, MD, a reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist with Northwestern Medicine. During that step, you take medications to boost egg growth. Next is the egg retrieval. After that comes fertilization.
Following fertilization, your doctor will transfer embryos to your uterus (or your partner’s), and Jain noted that there are guidelines to help determine how many to transfer. And from egg retrieval on, you’ll also receive additional hormone supplementation and continue „[until] nine to 11 weeks of pregnancy,“ Jain explained.
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Source: Business insider