In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF)



In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a kind of assistive reproductive technology (ART). It means retrieving eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilizing them with sperm. This fertilized egg is referred to as an embryo. The embryo can then be frozen for storage or sent to a woman’s uterus.

Based on your situation, IVF can use:

Your eggs and your partner’s sperm

Donor eggs and your partner’s sperm

Donor eggs and donor sperm

Donated embryos

Your eggs and donor sperm

Your doctor can as well implant embryos in a surrogate, or gestational carrier. This is someone else who carries your baby for you.

Why Is In Vitro Fertilization Done?

IVF assist people with infertility who want to have a baby. IVF is expensive and invasive, so couples always try other fertility treatments first. These may mean taking fertility drugs or having intrauterine insemination. At the time of the procedure, a doctor transfers sperm straight into a woman’s uterus.

Infertility problems for which IVF might also be necessary include:

Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
Reduced ovarian function
Low fertility in women over the age of 40
Uterine fibroids
Male infertility, low sperm count or abnormalities in sperm shape
Unexplained infertility

How Do I Get Ready for In Vitro Fertilization?

Before starting IVF, women will first undergo ovarian reserve testing. This entails taking a blood sample and testing it for the level of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). The results of this test will provide information to your doctor about the size and quality of your eggs.

Your doctor will also examine your uterus. This may mean doing an ultrasound, which uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of your uterus. The doctor might even insert a scope through your vagina and into your uterus. These tests can reveal the health of your uterus and help the doctor know the best way to implant the embryos.

Men will require sperm testing. This involves providing a semen sample, which a lab will analyze for the number, size, and shape of the sperm. If the sperm are weak or damaged, a procedure known as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be needed. At the time of ICSI, a technician injects sperm directly into the egg. ICSI can be part of the IVF process.

How Is In Vitro Fertilization Carried Out?

There are five steps involved in IVF:



Egg retrieval

Embryo culture



A woman normally produces one egg all through each menstrual cycle. However, IVF needs multiple eggs. Using multiple eggs increases the possibility of developing a viable embryo. You will be given fertility drugs to increase the number of eggs your body produces. In this process, your doctor will perform constant blood tests and ultrasounds to monitor the production of eggs and to let your doctor know when to retrieve them.

Egg Retrieval

Egg retrieval is referred to as follicular aspiration. It’s a surgical procedure performed with anaesthesia. Your doctor will use an ultrasound wand to direct a needle through your vagina, into your ovary, and into an egg-containing follicle. The needle will pull eggs and fluid out of each follicle.


The male partner will now need to provide a semen sample. A technician will mix the sperm with the eggs in a petri dish. If that doesn’t produce embryos, your doctor may choose to use ICSI.

Embryo Culture

Your doctor will observe the fertilized eggs to make sure that they’re dividing and developing. The embryos may undergo testing for genetic conditions at this time.


When the embryos are big enough, they can be implanted. This generally happens three to five days after fertilization. Implantation involves inserting a thin tube known as a catheter inserted into your vagina, past your cervix, and into your uterus. Your doctor then releases the embryo into your uterus.

Pregnancy happens at the time when the embryo implants itself in the uterine wall. This can take 6 to 10 days. A blood test will identify if you’re pregnant.

What Are the Complications Related to In Vitro Fertilization?

As with any medical procedure, there are dangers associated with IVF.

Complications include:

Multiple pregnancies, which increase the risk of low birth weight and untimely birth

Miscarriage (pregnancy loss)

Infection, bleeding, or damage to the bowels or bladder (rare)

Ectopic pregnancy (when the eggs implant outside the uterus)

A rare condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) involves an excess of fluid in the abdomen and chest

What Is the Long-Term Outlook?

Choosing to undergo in vitro fertilization, and how to try if the first attempt is not successful, is an incredibly complicated decision. The financial, physical and emotional toll of this process can be hard. Discuss with your doctor extensively to know what your best options are and if in vitro fertilization is the right path for you and your family.


DisclaimerThe information provided herein is for patient general knowledge only and should not be used during any medical emergency, diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Duplication for personal and commercial use must be authorized in writing by

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