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In-vitro-fertilization (IVF) is a method of assisted reproduction which involves fertilizing an egg with sperm in the laboratory and transferring the resulting embryo into the woman’s womb (uterus) where it will hopefully implant and further develop.

IVF can be used to treat all causes of infertility such as problems related to ovarian dysfunction, cervical factors, sperm and egg transport, sperm – egg binding, fertilization and early embryo development.

Even when good fertilization and early embryo development are achieved, clinical pregnancy may not follow as a result of many more unknown causes such as abnormalities of chromosome or endometrial receptivity.

The steps involved in IVF-ET: 

Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COH)

This involves the administration of fertility drugs to stimulate multiple follicular growth in the ovaries instead of the single follicular growth that normally occurs in the natural cycle each month. This normally requires taking injections between 8 – 14 days. The follicles potentially contain eggs. 

Egg collection

Egg collection is a minor surgical procedure that is carried out using an ultrasound guided needle that is mounted on a trans-vaginal probe and connected to a suction device. The eggs are obtained by aspiration of the follicles into a tube. The procedure takes less than 30minutes. 

Fertilization and embryo culture

The eggs collected are examined in the laboratory and transferred into a culture medium, inseminated (cultured together with sperm in a culture medium) and placed in an incubator to await fertilization. 

Embryo transfer

This involves the transfer of one or more embryos suspended into a drop of culture medium into the womb (uterus). The procedure is done under ultrasound guidance with the woman’s bladder full.

The procedure is done with the woman’s bladder full. She is placed in lithotomy position (lying on the back with legs outstretched). An instrument (speculum) is placed in the vagina to expose the cervix.

The cervix is cleaned. Under ultrasound guidance, the embryo transfer catheter containing the embryo(s) is introduced through the cervix and into the uterus (womb), close to the fundus. The embryo(s) are then ejected into the womb. Ultrasound guided embryo transfer ensures that embryos are properly placed in the uterine cavity.

Slight cramping may be felt as the
catheter is introduced into the womb but it will only last for seconds. Following the embryo transfer, the woman will be required to lie still for about 10min. After that period, and once any cramping has subsided, you may leave Hallmark Medicals.



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