In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a procedure used to treat fertility problems and assist with the conception of a child. During in vitro fertilization, mature eggs are retrieved from your ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. Then the fertilized egg (embryo) or eggs are implanted in your uterus. One cycle of in vitro fertilization takes about two weeks. In vitro fertilization is the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology (ART).
Your chances of having a healthy baby using in vitro fertilization depend on many factors, such as your age and the cause of infertility. In addition, in vitro fertilization can be time-consuming, expensive and invasive. If more than one embryo is implanted in your uterus, in vitro fertilization can result in a multiple pregnancy.
IVF In vitro fertilization is a possible treatment option for infertility. Depending on the cause of infertility, you and your partner might try less invasive treatment options before attempting in vitro fertilization, including fertility drugs to increase your production of eggs (superovulation) or intrauterine insemination — a procedure in which sperm are placed directly in your uterus. Occasionally, in vitro fertilization is offered as a primary treatment for infertility in women older than age 40. In vitro fertilization can also be done if you have certain health conditions.
In vitro fertilization has multiple steps: ovulation induction, egg retrieval, sperm retrieval, fertilization and embryo transfer.
After the embryo transfer, you can resume your normal daily activities. Consider avoiding vigorous activity, which could cause discomfort.
Typical side effects include:
Your doctor will take a blood sample to detect pregnancy hormones about two weeks after egg retrieval. If you’re pregnant, your doctor will refer you for prenatal care. If you’re not pregnant, you’ll stop taking progesterone and likely get your period in one to three days. If you don’t get your period or have unusual irregular bleeding, contact your doctor.
He or she may examine you to rule out an ectopic pregnancy. If you’re interested in attempting another cycle of in vitro fertilization, your doctor might suggest steps you can take to improve your chances of getting pregnant through in vitro fertilization.
The chances of giving birth to a healthy baby after using in vitro fertilization depend on various factors, including: