IVF Treatment Step by Step Guide

In this article you will read about:

  • Fertility treatment Stages
  • How is IVF Done?
  • What to expect during IVF?
  • Starting IVF Treatment
  • Embryo Transfer

New born Baby
IVF can be an intimidating process because it can be very complex and individual from case to case. If you are considering IVF or looking for more information about all the stages of fertility treatment, here is a guide that will lead through the main stages of IVF.

Stage 1: Inquiry 

Choosing a clinic or/and a fertility doctor. Based on your location, budget, recommendation, you would choose a suitable clinic where you can start your fertility treatment.

Stage 2: First Tests  

For the fertility doctor to make a confident decision for your future treatment plan, they will run a couple of tests. These tests consist of an ovarian reserve and semen assessment.  

The tests for ovarian reserve are:

  • AMH test (anti-Müllerian hormone)
  • Transvaginal scan (internal scan) to count the number of follicles (small fluid-filled sacs)
  • Additional tests may be needed based on your type of fertility treatment, as:
  • Tubular patency test (HyCoSy) 
  • Sperm Analysis 
  • Screening for infectious diseases (before starting fertility treatment)
  • A saline sonogram and 3D scan (to check the womb)

Stage 3: First Consultation 

At your initial consultation, you will discuss your medical history and prior test results. Based on this information the consultant will be able to give you the best treatment plan recommendations.

Understanding the basics of the Reproductive System can greatly help you comprehend the complexities of IVF treatment.

Stage 4: Signing the Documents

Before beginning your treatment, you and depending on the case, your partner, will have to give you consent for the treatment, sign the documents, and pay for the plan. You will also receive training on how to take your fertility medication and how to do the needed injections by yourself or by your partner.

Stage 5: Starting the Treatment  

On Day 1 of your period, you have to inform the clinic and start your treatment as you previously discussed with the nursing team or doctors. By this moment you should already know what to do in-depth. You might also take medication for regulating your menstrual cycle.

Stage 6: Stimulating Ovulation

Baby and mother.
Naturally, the ovaries will produce one egg per cycle, but in IVF they need to retrieve multiple eggs to have successful fertilization. To stimulate the ovaries, you will be prescribed at-home injections, which they will train you how to do correctly. During the first two weeks of the stimulation, the growth of egg-producing follicles will be monitored through scans ( 1-3 scans) and blood tests.  

Stage 7: Stimulation Period Ends  

While observing the development of your egg-delivering follicles the specialist will realize when to stop the incitement. To end this cycle, you will be directed a trigger infusion that develops the eggs inside the follicle, preparing them for assortment. Generally, 80% of follicles contain an egg.

Stage 8: Egg Collection 

In the hours after the trigger injection, your eggs have to be collected. The consultant will use a vaginal scan probe, with a fine needle attached to it, to pass through the vagina to collect the eggs from the ovary. During this procedure, you will be given a mild sedative that will cause you to become sleepy. The procedure takes about 30 minutes, after which you will rest at the clinic and will be dispatched the same day.

Stage 9: Sperm Collection 

Based on your treatment plan, the ways of sperm collecting will be set from the beginning. 

What are the approaches to giving sperm to IVF treatment? 

Alternative 1: Fresh sperm test. 

On the off chance that utilizing a new sperm test during your treatment, the example should be given at the center in an andrology room, around the same time as your egg assortment. 

Alternative 2: Surgical Sperm Retrieval 

If your treatment requires careful sperm recovery, this will occur preceding egg assortment. The example recovered will at that point be frozen, before being defrosted upon the arrival of egg assortment. 

Alternative 3: Stored Sperm Sample 

If you have a stored frozen sperm sample, this will be defrosted upon the arrival of the eggs. 

Alternative 4: Donor Sperm Sample 

In the case that your treatment expects you to utilize a sperm test from a sperm donor, this will similarly be defrosted upon the arrival of the eggs.

Stage 10: Insemination 

When egg and sperm samples have been collected, insemination can happen. The sperm test chooses the best sperm to use during insemination. How insemination happens is different, based on your treatment plan. 

IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) Insemination 

IVF insemination includes both the eggs and sperm to be added into a culture dish. This dish is then positioned into an incubator, where insemination can happen. This culture dish stays in the incubator until embryo transfer. 

Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection Insemination (ICSI) 

ICSI insemination includes a previously selected sperm that is infused into every egg. Each egg is then positioned in a culture dish where insemination may happen. 

Stage 11: Development 

Not long after egg collection, you may begin consuming medications that help set up the coating of your uterus to receive the embryo and support your pregnancy. 

Monitoring the development

The embryos are deliberately observed in the period after insemination by the embryologists: first to check for insemination, and signs for advancement which demonstrate the embryo is developing. 

Stage 12: Embryo Transfer 

Your specialist will choose the best and ideal opportunity for the embryo(s) to be transferred, normally this will happen 5 days after your egg collection. 

During the transfer, a catheter is used to store a drop of culture medium, which contains one or a couple of embryos in the uterus. The procedure normally takes around 15 minutes. The embryo transfer will be directed by the ultrasound. 

At this stage, your good-quality embryos that are not used can be stored for additional cycles. 

If you want to learn more about other fertility treatments besides IVF, you might find our Fertility Treatment article informative.

Stage 13: Waiting

You will have to wait for 14 days to see if the transfer was effective. Normally you should stand by 15 days after egg collection before you take a pregnancy test. 

Stage 14: The Results 

After the waiting period, you will take a pregnancy test to find if your embryo transfer was successful and you are pregnant. 

Negative Pregnancy Test 

In case the pregnancy test is negative, the doctors will examine with you the subsequent stages of your treatment and the alternatives accessible to you. 

IVF usually happens in a few cycles, if you have frozen embryos, at that point, you could be prepared for another cycle in a couple of months. 

Positive Pregnancy Test 

If you get a positive pregnancy test, the doctors will monitor your pregnancy and you will be released to continue your pregnancy at home and remain in contact with your GP.

Considering IVF or another fertility treatment? Browse through the Fertility Treatment Packages available from clinics listed on our platform.