ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What is IVF

Updated on May 13, 2011

Every month tens of thousand's of couple's use the internet to seek more information about IVF. Here, you will find information about the process of IVF and referal's to other sounrces of information.

Baby making is a serious billion dollar industry. In the midst of that however, there are confused people like yourself who are reaching the point of desperation. It's an absolutely traumatic for childless couple's to have to endure month after month of unsuccessful attempt's to start or finish a family whilst watching everyone else taking their children for granted - I'm guilty of it.

If you have stumbed across this site, then you are seeking answers as to what exactly is involved in IVF treatments and you're quite possibly thinking about the fine print too - how much is it going to cost?

Please feel free to visit my blog called Getting Pregnant After... for more information about IVF prices and questions that you must ask your Doctor before deciding to use his/her clinic.

There is no truth in the term "test tube baby." Embryo's are far from reconizable when they are returned to the uterus as they are only three to five days old.
There is no truth in the term "test tube baby." Embryo's are far from reconizable when they are returned to the uterus as they are only three to five days old.

What is IVF: the G-Rated Version

In Vetro Fertilization is the process of harvesting a woman's ova (eggs) and inseminating them in a laboratory setting.

Despite of the common saying "test tube baby", the fertilized embyro's are only days old when they are implanted back into the uterus.

Many Doctor's find they have more success when they take control over the entire cycle. IVF is very intensive, very expensive and as such, is often a last resort to couple's.

IVF will benefit any couple who has been diagnosed with fertility problem's such as blocked fallopian tubes, endometreosis or ovulation issues. Male infertility - caused most commonly by obstructions, anti-sperm bodies or sperm production problem's - is also a cause for requiring IVF. Many same sex couples also use IVF to realize their dreams of becoming parents. Egg and sperm donors can be called upon in the event of one or both partners being unable to produce them.

Fertilzation can occur in a special container...
Fertilzation can occur in a special container...
... or your Doctor may decide that ICSI is a better option.
... or your Doctor may decide that ICSI is a better option.
Mature embryo's will have several cells that are actively dividing at the time of transfer.
Mature embryo's will have several cells that are actively dividing at the time of transfer.
Mature eggs are suctioned from the ovaries by means of a long needle before being inseminated and returned to the uterus via catheter. These day surgeries are usually done in your clinic under local anesthetic.
Mature eggs are suctioned from the ovaries by means of a long needle before being inseminated and returned to the uterus via catheter. These day surgeries are usually done in your clinic under local anesthetic.

The Cycle of IVF Can Be Broken Into Five Stages

Caution: Not for the squeamish.

IVF cycles take about three weeks to complete and are really quite an ordeal in themselves but since the alternative is infertility, many couples are grateful for the oppurtunity.

SUPER OVULATION

IVF begins with a series of injections which stimulate the ovaries into producing many ova instead of the one which is normally matured during the menstrual cycle. Care is taken not to over or under stimulate the ovaries and Doctor's may need to fine tune your treatment. Ultrasound will monitor the growth of the ova and urine testing will monitor hormone level's in your body.

EGG RETRIEVAL

Once matured, the eggs will need collecting. This day surgery is done in the clinic under a local anesthetic. During the surgey (called follicular aspiration) ultrasound images guide a long needle through the vagina and up to an ovary. The needle is gently inserted into the ovary and the folicles which house the eggs are carefully suctioned off one by one. The process is hen repeated at the other ovary. You may experience cramping afterwars but this generally subsides after a day of rest.

INSEMINATION

Under close supervision, your Doctor will chose the healthiest eggs to inseminate. Insemination is done by placeing your eggs and the sperm in a special chamber and left to their own devices - it usually takes a few hours.

However, if your Doctorthinks that the chances of insemination are low, staff will preform ICSI - intracytoplasmic`sperm injection. Some clinics prefer to do this regardless.

EMBRYO CULTURE

The egg becomes an embryo once it's cell begin to divide. After three to five days the embryo's are considered mature and are ready to return to the uterus. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is occasionally offered at this stage to couples who are concerned about passing genetic complications onto their child. PGD is highly controversial and many clinics do not offer it.By the completion of this stage, several cells in your embryo's are actively dividing.

EMBRYO TRANSFER

Depending on clinic protocol, you region and your age, 2-3 embryo's are transferred back into the uterus. This requires another day surgery at your clinic and more local anesthetic. This time, you'll be happy to hear that there is no needle but the surgery is still quite invasive. A thin catheter is used to carry the embryo's through the cervix and up into the womb. At this point in time, Researchers are still working on methods of embedding the embryo's into the mucusy lining of the uterus. They are simpley left in the womb with the hope that one (and sometimes more) will find their own way there. Medication can be offered to better prepare the ling and therefore increase the chances of this happening.

For additional information please consult your Doctor.

In the mean time, you can find lots of useful information here

Getting Pregnant After...

including questions you need to ask that will help you choose the right IVF clinic, IVF prices from around the world and lots more conception and preconception info.

It is worth mentioning here that the success of IVF depends on the cause of infertility and the age of the woman. Please do not labor under the impression that IVF will fix the problem - most clinics average around 30% success rate and the chances that the first IVF treatment will be successfull are slim

Many clinics will offer a partial refund that you can reinvest into subsequent cycles and the price will be lower if you still had eggs from the first cycle frozen - which also means that you won't have to go through the first stages again =)

You will also be extremely pleased to hear about a recent study that concluded that stress does not effect the outcome of IVF. The report concluded with an note that Doctors should inform patients of this fact. In Vetro Fertilization is an incredibly traumatic time, not only the outcome of IVF but the added financial pressure too. While depression is linked to infertility, researchers are trying to determine if IVF is also a cause. In either case, please be wary of your emotional temperature.

You are invited to share your experience with IVF or post your queries here...

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)