In vitro fertilization can be extremely helpful to couples who are struggling with infertility. The IVF procedure involves multiple steps that utilize specific fertility enhancements to encourage fertilization and help the embryo implant properly into the uterus. The process of in vitro fertilization for a viable pregnancy typically includes:
Many women’s infertility issues stem from ovulation problems caused by age or other conditions that suppress the normal release of a viable egg. Several medications exist that can help induce a woman’s ovulation and increase egg production. Timing is extremely important when trying to conceive. If a woman ovulates early, it can be difficult to know when to attempt conception or egg retrieval. Medications that prevent premature ovulation may be used in these cases.
Retrieving the Egg and Sperm
The eggs are retrieved before ovulation occurs, generally after the medication is injected to stimulate the production of eggs. This procedure is typically done in a fertility doctor’s office under mild sedation and pain medication.
Sperm retrieval can typically be done at any time and is not an overly complex process. When both the eggs and sperm are harvested, fertilization is attempted with intracytoplasmic sperm injection or a similar procedure in a laboratory setting.
Transferring the Embryo
After fertilization, the embryo is usually implanted into the uterus using an embryo transfer catheter. Your fertility doctor may introduce several embryos to increase the chances of establishing a viable pregnancy, though this can also increase the likelihood of multiple births. Fluid is injected and pushed into the uterus for implantation. Mild bloating may occur after the procedure. Testing is later performed to determine if the procedure was successful.
Fertility specialist Laurence A. Jacobs, M.D. specializes in providing fertility treatment that will increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. We offer many fertility procedures, including IVF fertility treatments, in our Chicago clinic.