An Overview of Denver IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)
- Posted on: Nov 26 2012
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Overview
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a procedure of assisted reproduction that involves the combination of an egg with sperm in a prepared laboratory environment. Typically performed in a lab dish, if the egg fertilizes and initiates the process of cell division, the resulting embryo (fertilized egg) is transferred into the woman’s uterus where it will hopefully implant. If implantation occurs, further development is generally successful through the assistance of IVF or other procedural options.
IVF is one of the most successful reproduction assistance methods available. IVF has provided millions of infertile couples around the globe the opportunity to become parents. Through the following IVF steps and procedures, the chance of fertility can be greatly increased.
The first step of the in vitro fertilization process is the use of birth control to suppress ovulation until the desired time. The use of birth control will also prevent any ovarian cysts from developing.
Medications are then used to stimulate egg production and rather than a single egg being produced by the body, more than one may be produced. When menstruation begins, fertility medications are administered daily to stimulate the maturation of the oocytes (eggs). The progress of ovulation is monitored closely with ultrasound and blood estrogen level indicators for several days.
Retrieval of Eggs
The mature eggs are then harvested using a simple outpatient procedure. The doctor collects the oocytes and follicular fluid through a process that takes about thirty minutes to complete. Intravenous sedation may be administered to avoid any discomfort that may be caused through the process. Semen is also collected on the same day that the egg retrieval procedure takes place.
The eggs are fertilized with sperm either by insemination or other methods. Once the eggs have divided they are considered to be embryos and are placed in a media to promote growth.
Embryo transfer occurs a few days after the retrieval of the oocyte. The procedure is quick and pain-free at our Denver Fertility Clinic. A fine catheter passes through the cervix and deposits the fertilized eggs directly into the uterine cavity. Rest for an hour or two is required following the procedure.
The patient begins taking progesterone the day oocyte retrieval is conducted and continues to take the supplement until the pregnancy test is done. Hormone levels are monitored up until the test. If the pregnancy test is positive, the patient may be advised to continue for several weeks following.
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