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"In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) - Part 1" is a great article that will help you learn more about this topic. After reading it, be sure to check out Part 2!

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) – Part 1

In the United States, about 1% of all births are the result of in vitro fertilization (IVF). The basic steps of IVF are similar in most centers that provide the procedure. They are:

1. Ovulation induction and egg retrieval

The first step in the IVF process is to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. This is accomplished by administering fertility medications, typically gonadotropins, that stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. These medications are usually given by daily injections.

When the eggs are mature, they are retrieved from the ovaries using a needle that is inserted through the vagina and vagina under ultrasound guidance. The eggs are then removed from the follicles and placed in a dish in the laboratory.

2. Fertilization

In the laboratory, the eggs are fertilized with sperm. This can be done in one of two ways:

  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) : In this procedure, a single sperm is injected into each egg. ICSI is used when the man has a low sperm count or when the sperm have poor motility.
  • Standard insemination : In this procedure, the eggs are placed in a dish with the sperm. The sperm then fertilize the eggs on their own.

3. Embryo transfer

Once the eggs are fertilized, they are incubated in the laboratory for 2-6 days. During this time, they develop into embryos. Once the embryos reach a certain stage of development, they are then transferred into the woman’s uterus. The number of embryos that are transferred depends on the age of the woman, the quality of the embryos, and other factors.

In some cases, the embryos may be frozen (cryopreserved) and transferred at a later date. This is done when there are more embryos than can be safely transferred at one time or when the woman needs to delay the transfer for personal or medical reasons.

4. Luteal phase support

After the embryos are transferred, the woman is given medication, typically progesterone, to support the pregnancy. This medication is given by injection or vaginal suppository. The luteal phase support is continued until the pregnancy is confirmed.

5. Pregnancy testing

Two weeks after the embryo transfer, the woman has a blood test to measure the level of beta-hCG. This is the hormone that is produced by the placenta and is a marker for pregnancy. If the beta-hCG level is high enough, it indicates that the woman is pregnant.

Did you know! In 1978, Louise Brown was the first baby to be born through IVF. With the growth in reproductive medicine and its transformation, many couples choose IVF for conceiving a baby. IVF is considered a successful treatment for many couples even today.

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