Steps of IVF
What are the Steps of In Vitro Fertilization?
- Stimulation or super ovulation: Fertility medications are given to the woman to enhance her egg production so that she will produce more than one egg during her cycle.
- Egg retrieval: This is an outpatient procedure when the eggs are removed from the woman’s ovary by a process called follicular aspiration.
- Insemination and fertilization: Insemination is when the sperm and the egg are mixed together; the sperm is placed with the best quality eggs in an environmentally controlled chamber. Sometimes sperm is injected into the egg with a process called intracytoplasimic sperm injection (ICSI).
- Embryo culture: Once the fertilized egg divides it becomes an embryo.
- Embryo transfer: A few days after the egg retrieval and fertilization, the embryo is placed into the woman’s womb or uterus. More than one embryo can be put in the womb at once though this produces a higher chance for twins. If an embryo implants into the womb and continues to grow, the woman is pregnant.
What Happens After the Embryo Transfer?
First, the woman may need to rest for the remainder of the day, but should return to normal activity by the next day. After the in vitro fertilization process, women take progesterone supplementation daily for eight to ten weeks after the transfer. About two weeks after the embryo transfer, the woman will have an in-clinic pregnancy test.
Are There Symptoms to be Aware of After an Embryo Transfer?
After in vitro fertilization, call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
- A temperature more than 100.5 F
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Blood in urine
The fertility specialist at Dallas-Fort Worth Fertility Associates are experts in in vitro fertilization (IVF). Our physicians care for patients in Southlake, Keller, Grapevine, Colleyville, Denton and their surrounding areas.