IVF treatment involves the fertilization of an egg (or eggs) outside the body. The treatment can be performed using your own eggs and sperm or using either donated sperm or donated eggs, or both.
A. Ovarian Stimulation
You will be given a fertility hormone known as gonadotrophin to increase the number of eggs you produce.
You will usually take this as a daily injection for around 10 – 12 days. Another drug is also added to avoid ovulation.
The clinic will monitor your progress throughout the drug treatment through vaginal ultrasound scans and blood tests.
B. Collecting and fertilizing the eggs
Your eggs are collected using ultrasound guidance while you are sedated.
A hollow needle is attached to the ultrasound probe and is used to collect the eggs from the follicles on each ovary.
At the same day your husband will be asked to produce a sample of sperm.
Your eggs will be mixed with your partner’s sperm and cultured in the laboratory for 16 – 20 hours after which they are checked for signs of fertilization.
C. Embryo transfer
If you are under the age of 40, one or two embryos may be transferred. If you are 40 or over, a maximum of three may be used.
This is normally a pain – free procedure and usually no sedation is necessary
D. Results – Success Rate
A blood test (β – hCG) is done twelve days after embryo transfer.
In case of a positive result, a vaginal ultrasound is performed in two weeks to confirm the pregnancy.
Success rate up to 45% is realistic figure especially in young women under 35 years old.