How Long Is the IVF Procedure?

When it comes to Assisted Reproductive Technologies, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is one of the most common procedures recommended by fertility specialists. Here, the question is, how long does it take, and what is involved in the process? Let’s give you an overview of the IVF process.

 

What is the duration of the IVF process?

It can take as long as six weeks to achieve pregnancy with In Vitro Fertilization due to the number of steps involved. In IVF, the following procedures are followed:

 

  1. Estrogen or Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills or estrogen may be prescribed before IVF to prevent the development of ovarian cysts. By controlling your treatment, your healthcare provider will be able to retrieve the most mature eggs possible. Birth control can be combined with estrogen and progesterone, or it can be prescribed only with estrogen.

 

  1. Ovarian Stimulation

Typically, only one egg is mature enough to ovulate each month in a healthy female of reproductive age. The remaining immature eggs in that group are disintegrated. In order for the whole group of eggs to mature simultaneously and completely during IVF, you need to take injectable hormone medications. In other words, you may have more than one egg that can be utilized in the IVF procedure.

The stimulation is based on your AMH level, previous IVF cycle simulations, medical history, type, dosage, and frequency of medications you take. Hence, you need to wait until your ovulating period to start the procedure of extracting eggs.

 

  1. Fertilization

Upon retrieval of eggs, ICSI will fertilize all mature eggs. Infancy eggs are not suitable for ICSI. They are typically placed in a dish with nutrients and sperm but rarely mature there. If mature, the sperm can fertilize them. A fertilized egg will develop into an embryo in a few days. Approximately 70% of mature eggs will fertilize in this process. In rare cases, you may freeze some eggs before fertilization if there are too many eggs or you do not wish to fertilize all eggs.

 

  1. Embryo development

Your embryos will be closely monitored for the next five to six days to be cleared for being viable for transfer. In fertilized eggs, the blastocyst stage occurs three to four times, while 50% fail and are discarded. Embryos suitable for future transfers will be frozen five or six days after fertilization.

 

  1. Embryo transfer

The process of embryo transfer can be divided into two parts: fresh and frozen. The main difference between using fresh or frozen embryos is implied by the name, so your healthcare provider will be able to discuss them with you and decide which is best for your situation. It means if you are ready for transfer, then they will use the fresh. If it takes weeks for the female partner to be ready, then they will freeze the embryo and use them later on.

 

  1. Pregnancy

An embryo implanted in your uterus results in pregnancy. 9-14 days following embryo transfer, your healthcare provider will test your blood for pregnancy. If you are pregnant, the IVF procedure will be complete. Otherwise, it will take another cycle of implantation of the frozen embryos, which also affects how long the IVF procedure will take.

 

The IVF process and what to expect can be unpredictable many times. It’s better to always be in touch with your healthcare professional throughout the IVF treatment.

 

However, even though IVF has been around for a long time, it is so much more than simply combining egg and sperm outside the body. You should always choose the best and most reliable fertility hospitals with experienced doctors. Moreover, the inclusion of modern tools and cutting-edge techniques will quicken the process and increase the chances of success in the first cycle.

 

That’s all for the IVF steps included, which will take time depending on certain factors discussed.

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