Just recently, you have learned that you need to go through a type of assisted reproductive technology, more specifically IVF, to be able to hold your own baby. When such extra help have suggested to infertile couples to get pregnant, couples should have gain a clear understanding of IVF stages to be able to balance their hopes and despairs. In fact, IVF procedure is like stepping in a new pathway and starting an adventurous journey to reach the final destination. And What destination is more joyful than embracing your own baby!
IVF procedures, by its all positive and negative features, is one of the last resorts of infertile couples who want to experience the pregnancy and be parents. However, they should be totally aware of what will happen during IVF procedure and how they can get ready for this complicated treatment.
Tebmed Tourism is here for you! We will review each stage of IVF, from pre-IVF tests, medications and diet to egg retrieval and post days of embryo transfer, to shed light on your upcoming event of your life.
What is IVF?
Let’s first check the meaning of this procedure. IVF stands for “In Vitro Fertilization” which is consist of two parts: In vitro and Fertilization. Fertilization has crystal clear meaning but what about “In vitro”? In vitro means performing or taking place in a test tube, culture dish, or elsewhere outside a living organism.
In this technique sperm and egg mix together in a culture dish and after a couple of days, fertilization happens in the lab. It is clear that such simplified explanation cannot show the details and complications of IVF. So, let’s dive into the details you need to know.
IVF cost in Iran, visit us to know more!
Who can be an IVF candidate?
IVF, as a whole, is a treatment for infertility. However, it can be a technique to help couples who are aware of their genetic disorders and trying to avoid passing on their genetic problems. IVF is one of the last options of women over 40 to have a healthy baby. Moreover, it can be a done if male or female partner is suffering from:
- Male factor infertility: This disorder can be stemmed from abnormal sperm production, low sperm production, blockage of delivery of sperm or poor sperm mobility.
- Ovulation disorders: Any trouble in the production of eggs during monthly periods. The most common sign of such disorder is irregular or missed periods.
- Fallopian tube problems: If female partner’s fallopian tube is blocked or missing, it is a difficult task for eggs to be fertilized. Even if an egg can meet a sperm to be fertilized, it is more probable to get stock in the tube which may result in ectopic pregnancy.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease: PID is among infectious diseases. When women’s reproductive system, include the womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries, get infected, usually, by a sexually transmitted infection, it can cause scar tissues and pockets of infected fluid. One possible consequence of such scarring of fallopian tubes is infertility.
- Endometriosis: In this condition, tissue which is found on the lining of the womb appears in other places, like ovaries and fallopian tube or even bladder. This painful condition has negative impact on both daily life and fertility. In effect, it may be more difficult for women with endometriosis to get pregnant.
- Tubal ligation: Tying the tubes is a surgical procedure to cut, tie or block the fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy. If a woman wants to get pregnant after this permanent procedure, there are two possible options: tubal ligation reversal surgery and IVF procedure.
- Unexplained infertility: Some couples do not have any specific problem which can be considered as an infertility complication. However, specialists and doctors, even after long run of tests, cannot figure out what is the main reason behind their infertility.
It is essential to know that IVF is not a magic tool for everyone. Fertility specialists do not guarantee the success of this technique, even to the most favorable candidates. In fact, the majority of candidates need to go through several IVF cycles to get pregnant successfully.
How does IVF work?
In a general sense, IVF consists of several stages. In fact, after using specific medications, some eggs are retrieved from woman’s ovaries and then fertilized by man’s sperm in a lab. Finally, the selected embryos will be transferred to the woman’s uterus and pregnancy happens. Normally, one full cycle of IVF takes about 2 to 3 weeks.
IVF is an expensive medical procedure, due to its complicated and Specialized stages. Professional fertility specialists explain the whole procedure by details and its pros and cons to infertile couples; so, they can step in this journey with awareness. So, let’s review the procedure step by step:
3.1. Pre IVF preparation
IVF is a long journey and you need to prepare yourself, physically and emotionally, to step in this adventure. There are some suggestions for preparing your body for upcoming treatment: eat a well-balanced diet, keep a healthy weight, take needed and prescribed vitamins, avoid smoking and alcohol, and reduce caffeine intake.
Mental and emotional health are also vital for starting IVF procedure. There are various methods to manage and eliminate your stress and anxiety, such as: Doing yoga and meditation, sharing your thoughts with your dear ones, joining an infertility support group, and praying or doing some ritual practice.
Asking as many questions as you feel needed from your doctor. Some fears about IVF come from your uncertainty about the procedure, its success rate and potential side effects.
Your fertility specialist, before starting IVF, will schedule some blood tests to assess the level of follicle stimulating hormone in your body. This blood test shows the quality and number of eggs of the female partner.
Moreover, blood test can note the possible incompatibilities between mother’s and father’s blood type. Some other common blood tests are HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Syphilis and genetic screening.
Shortly before the start of IVF, your fertility specialist will likely conduct a semen analysis. Mock embryo transfer is another needed test to determine the depth of uterine cavity. Also, your doctor will use an ultrasound to examine the lining of your uterus.
Best IVF center in Iran! We are here for you!
3.2. During IVF
When initial tests and screenings have done successfully, main stages of IVF begin. Such steps take about 2 to 3 weeks and are also called a full cycle of IVF.
3.2.1. Ovarian stimulation
The first step in IVF procedure is using some hormones to stimulate the ovaries to produce more than single egg that normally happens every month. There are different medications for inducing more eggs, such as menotropins, FSH, clomiphene, GnRH analogues and …. Such daily hormone injections (2-3 medications each night) lasts for about 10 days.
During this step, you need to visit your doctor several times to undergo ultrasound scans and blood tests to determine when the eggs are matured enough to collect.
3.2.2. Egg retrieval (Follicular puncture)
After stimulation step proceeds correctly and follicles are almost ready to retrieve, the final “trigger shot” injection help ovaries to release eggs in 24-36 hours. Then, your fertility specialist schedules a day to retrieve the eggs at IVF clinic.
The candidate will be sedated during this procedure and a thin, long needle through ultrasound will be inserted through vagina to collect eggs. The mature eggs will be placed in a culture dish and incubated.
The semen sample of your husband should be ready at clinic the morning of eggs retrieval. In Iran, sperm donation is illegal and infertile couples must use the husband’s sperm or a donated embryo.
In fertilization step, each healthy and mature egg is fertilized by being injected by a single healthy sperm which is separated from the semen sample in the lab. 5 to 7 days after eggs fertilization and when eggs develop into blastocysts. The embryos in this point may be sampled for preimplantation genetic testing. This testing shows which blastocysts are normal.
3.2.3. Embryo transfer
Five days after egg retrieval, the selected embryo will be transferred into your uterus by a catheter which is painless. 9 to 10 days after egg retrieval, if everything goes well, an embryo will implant in the lining of the uterus. About 2 weeks after egg retrieval, your doctor will schedule a blood test to confirm the pregnancy.
3.3. After IVF procedure
Embryo transfer is an easy procedure; however, some aftercares can increase the chance of a successful pregnancy, for instance, taking the prescribed medications on time, avoiding sex till receiving the result of pregnancy test, avoiding contact with sick people, staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet, not doing heavy exercises, and avoiding being exposed to chemical and radiation.
Read this article to know more about IVF side effects!
IF your IVF cycle is successful and the blood test and your fertility specialist confirm your pregnancy, you will be referred to a pregnancy specialist to continue your pregnancy and receive maternity care services.
The bottom line
Natural pregnancy is not available for all couples. Sometimes, some extra help by means of different types of assisted reproductive technology may need to get pregnant. IVF is one of the assisted reproductive methods which has higher rate of success compares to other methods.
However, this technique is complicated and costly and should not be considered as a magic tool. IVF procedure consists of several stages, from initial and pre IVF tests and using medication to stimulate ovaries to egg retrieval and embryo transfer.
Fertility treatment at Tebmedtourism Company (International healthcare facilitator):
TebMedTourism Company is an International healthcare facilitator based in Tehran, Iran.
We start our professional activity in medical tourism industry regarding the profound capability of Iran in both healthcare & touristic fields.
We are ready with open arms to provide desirable services to our dear patients & guests from all over the world to enjoy world-class treatment quality and highly skilled doctors in Iran.
TebMedTourism company is cooperating with more than 40 internationally certified hospitals, 140 selected local hospitals, 300 specialized medical centers, 430 doctors, 112 hotels, domestic and international airlines in Tehran, Shiraz, Mashhad, Tabriz, Qom and other cities in Iran.
TebMedTourism team facilitates comprehensive medical & cosmetic packages in all medical & wellness & touristic fields aimed to achieve your desires.
TebMedTourism experienced team will make this procedure seamless and enjoyable from A to Z, so you will just focus on your recovery.