IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that helps couples struggling with infertility have children. In IVF, a woman's eggs are fertilized with sperm in a laboratory dish outside her body, and the resulting embryos are then transferred to the woman's uterus.
The IVF treatment process typically includes the following steps:
- Ovarian stimulation: The woman is given fertility drugs to stimulate her ovaries to produce more than one egg.
- Egg collection: Eggs are taken from the woman's ovaries using a small needle under ultrasound guidance.
- Fertilization: Eggs are fertilized with sperm in a lab dish to create an embryo.
- Embryo culture: Embryos are cultured in the laboratory for several days until they are at the appropriate stage for transfer.
- Embryo transfer: Embryos are transferred to the woman's uterus using a small catheter inserted through the cervix.
- Pregnancy test: A pregnancy test is done about two weeks after the embryo transfer to determine if the procedure was successful.
Throughout the IVF process, the woman will be closely monitored with ultrasound and blood tests to determine the progress of ovarian stimulation and to make sure the embryos are developing properly. The specific details of the IVF process may vary depending on the individual case.