Fertility Files

What actually happens during IVF?

Finding out you cant have a baby naturally is pretty rubbish. But have been lucky enough to have a successful IVF treatment. So many people ask me what actually happens during IVF in simple terms- Not the actual terms laid out medically on so many websites.  So here is my simple terms of what happens during IVF (please note some clinics may vary-this is what I have had done and I am not a medical professional);

 For the women;

you are sent a box of drugs to your address a few weeks prior to your treatment. One of those drugs will need to be kept in the fridge.  If you do not have any periods like me then you will need to go onto the pill prior to induce a bleed.

Step one: suppressing the natural menstrual cycle-

This is an injection that is given by the doctors but this is usually taken with you to your appointment from home. This basically puts your body into a menopausal state.

Step two: boosting the egg supply-

Next is a daily injection that is done at home. This continues for 10-12 days. When your drugs are delivered you are issued with steps on how to complete these injections. You normally insert them into your stomach or thigh and have to be done at the same time every day.

Step three: checking progress

During your treatment you will have internal ultrasound scans 3 times a week in the last week prior to egg collection. At the time you also have a blood test to see if the doctors need to amend your dosage of drugs.

Step four: collecting the eggs

On the day given to you by the doctor you will have your eggs collected. This means you will be sedated via a cannula in your hand and the doctors take the eggs out of your body (vaginally). At the same time as this process your partner will have to give his fresh sperm sample to a nurse.

Step five: fertilising the eggs

After egg collection, you will be given hormone medicines to help prepare the lining of the womb to receive the embryo. This is normally a pessary that is done vaginally.The sperm is mixed with the eggs in hope they become an embryo. The embryos continue to grow in the laboratory for up to six days before being transferred into the womb. The best one or two embryos will be chosen for transfer.

Step six: embryo transfer

A few days after the eggs are collected, the embryos are transferred into the womb. This is done using an ultrasound scan and a long tube into the vagina- it takes about ten minutes and you don’t need sedation or feel any pain.

The number of embryos that will be transferred should be discussed before treatment starts. It usually depends on your age.- See post- https://glossytots.co.uk/fertility-files/ivf-double-trouble-actually-not-always/

If any suitable embryos are left over, they may be frozen for future IVF attempts.

Finding out if you’re pregnant or not-

Once the embryos have been transferred into the womb, you’ll be advised to wait around two weeks before having a pregnancy test at home, to see if the treatment has worked. If you are pregnant you then continue your pregnancy as normal.

If anyone has any questions I will do my best to answer them. Let me know in the comments below x

What actually happens during IVF