Conceiving is much more complicated than you think. 1 in 6 couples has infertility. For sperm to fertilize an egg and a sustainable pregnancy occurs over time, many factors of both the female and male bodies must be in perfect order and functioning and this, for sure, is not always the case. There are many conditions for which a couple can have problems conceiving, and, fortunately, there are also several options they have to make their dream of being parents come true.
Among the best known assisted reproduction procedures, in vitro fertilization stands out, a technique that has been used since 1978 and that offers to unite the female ovum with the male sperm outside the woman’s body ( in vitro ) so that fertilization occurs and is formed the embryo, which will later be introduced into the woman’s uterus through the vagina. Several sources can be presented simultaneously, and the prognosis for success of this treatment is 41% in women under 35 years of age and 36% in women up to 37 years of age.
For this treatment to be effective, the woman requires a series of medications and actions that allow her to prepare her body to produce good eggs, properly receive the embryo and maintain it after insertion. If you and your partner are contemplating this method of fertilization, we invite you to carefully read this article by FastlyHealwhere we explain how to prepare for in vitro fertilization.
Table of Contents
Know in-depth what in vitro fertilization (IVF) consists of
Before considering undergoing this assisted reproduction procedure, it is essential to know what this fertilization technique consists of and consult with your doctor if it is the best method to conceive according to the fertility problems that the couple may present. For this reason, we will explain the five steps of in vitro fertilization straightforwardly:
Step 1: Stimulation of superovulation
- The woman will be given drugs that enhance her fertility to increase the production of eggs.
- In general, a woman produces one egg per month, but with the intake of these fertility drugs, the ovaries will be able to have more eggs each month.
- The woman will need to have several transvaginal ultrasounds to examine the ovaries. It will also be necessary to perform blood tests to know hormonal values.
Step 2: Egg retrieval
- A follicular aspiration is performed, a minor surgery that allows the ovules to be removed from the woman’s body. This intervention is performed in the doctor’s office and suggests using anesthesia so that the woman does not feel pain during the procedure.
- With the help of ultrasound, the doctor will be able to guide the insertion of a needle through the vagina to reach the ovaries, where the eggs will be sucked out of the follicle one by one at a time.
- The procedure is repeated to remove the eggs from the other ovary. After this minor surgery, the woman may have pelvic pain and cramps that disappear in a day.
Step 3: Insemination and fertilization
- The man’s sperm will be placed with the best quality eggs that have been collected. This process is called insemination.
- The eggs and sperm will then be stored in an environmental control chamber. Fertilization usually occurs within a few hours after insemination.
Step 4: Embryo culture
- When the fertilized ovum is divided, it will become an embryo, monitored by technical personnel to ensure its proper growth. In 5 days, the origin already presents cell division.
- In this phase, the embryo can be examined to rule out any genetic disorders that the parents may have transmitted.
Step 5: embryo transfer
- Between 3 and 5 days after fertilization of the ovum, the embryos will be placed in the woman’s uterus through the vagina. This process is carried out in a doctor’s office.
- The doctor will insert a catheter or tube that contains the embryos through the vagina to deposit them in the cervix to introduce the sources. Pregnancy occurs when the embryo implants itself in the uterus tissue and begins to grow. Ask your doctor for advice before embryo transfer.
- More than one embryo can be placed, leading to multiple pregnancies of twins and triplets. The number of seeds to be introduced will depend on many factors, including the woman’s age. Unused embryos can be frozen for future use.
- Between 5 and 7 days after introducing the embryo, the woman must take a pregnancy test to know if the procedure was successful or not.
Know the risks of in vitro fertilization
In vitro fertilization is a procedure that tests the emotional strength of the couple since it involves a lot of stress, anxiety, and fear because it is a costly treatment that does not guarantee 100% the possibility of pregnancy. In addition to this, IVF represents a series of risks for the health of the woman and the life of the couple, such as:
- Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome: During the prime phase of IVF, a woman is prescribed medications to stimulate egg production. This process can cause the ovaries to become swollen and very painful. Symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, vomiting, and nausea may also occur.
- Miscarriage: The use of frozen embryos may slightly increase the risk of miscarriage, especially if the woman is elderly.
- Complications in egg retrieval: during follicular aspiration, there is a risk of bleeding, infection, and injury to the intestines, bladder, or blood vessels.
- Ectopic pregnancy: 5% of women who undergo in vitro fertilization have an ectopic pregnancy. This condition occurs when the embryo implants outside the egg, specifically in the fallopian tubes.
- Congenital anomalies: the risk of congenital anomalies is greater in pregnancies by in vitro fertilization.
- Multiple pregnancy and premature delivery: The risk of early labor is higher when a woman has undergone in vitro fertilization. Also, the chances of various pregnancies increase depending on the number of embryos that have entered the uterus.
Evaluate the cost of treatment
In vitro fertilization is a costly assisted reproduction technique involving the woman undergoing a series of examinations and imaging tests that are not usually covered by health insurance. To find out if you have enough money to pay for fertilization, medications, and exams, you must make a budget with the prices of the items in the following list:
- Fertility tests.
- Fertility drugs.
- HCG injections.
- Imaging tests such as abdominal ultrasounds.
- Complete blood test and hormonal profile.
- In vitro fertilization treatment (including egg retrieval and embryo insertion).
- Maintenance cost of unused frozen embryos.
- Medical fees.
- Pregnancy test.
Currently, there are many fertility clinics and bank entities that offer to finance so that a couple can pay for this other type of fertility treatment. Consult with your doctor about the options you can choose if you do not have a sufficient budget.
Prepare yourself emotionally
Undergoing an in vitro fertilization procedure is a process that generates a lot of anguish, stress, and anxiety in both women and men. It is essential to remain calm and control expectations throughout the process. For this reason, it is imperative that you take into account the following tips for successful artificial insemination :
- Couple support: although the woman undergoes the entire procedure, this treatment can alter the emotions of both members of a couple. It is essential now that you maintain effective communication and that you find among yourselves the propitious space to share your fears and alleviate them. It is also necessary that the woman has a lot of support and company since she will have to undergo tests, exams, injections, and constant visits to the doctor. Fighting infertility is the task of two.
- Identify stress and anxiety: the woman should be as relaxed as possible since we cannot forget that emotions directly interfere with the ovulation process. Therefore, it is appropriate to be distracted and seek leisure activities as a couple that allows both of them to forget for a while the process they are undergoing.
- Tell third parties? It is not always recommended. The more people know they are undergoing fertility treatment, the more people will constantly ask about it, which can add to stress and pressure. Therefore, it is best to keep this information secret and share it only with those closest to you, such as parents and siblings.
- Imagine all the possible scenarios: to prepare for an in vitro fertilization. It is necessary to speak with the doctor to explain all the possible techniques and make the success rate of said treatment very clear, which is not always the most encouraging. The couple must internalize that paying for the treatment and carrying it out does not guarantee to be a parent, so controlling expectations and illusions is necessary to avoid a major depression if the results are not as expected. Many couples have had to undergo more than one fertilization procedure in vitro, and hope should not be lost for a negative impact. If they feel that they do not know how to handle this process correctly, going to a support group or visiting a therapist is essential.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to How to prepare for in vitro fertilization, we recommend that you enter our Pregnancy and baby health category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.