In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a form of assisted reproductive technology. It is estimated that more than 8 million babies were born thanks to IVF and other fertility treatments since the 1970s. The procedure involves combining an egg with a sperm sample in a laboratory and then transferring it back into the female's uterus.
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In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a procedure which involves fertilising the egg of a female outside the human body. Instead of sperm fertilising the egg within the uterus, fertilisation takes place in laboratory conditions, and the resultant embryo is then implanted in the woman's uterus.
The process is commonly used in cases where women are unable to conceive naturally, which could be due to conditions like endometriosis, damaged fallopian tubes or simply unexplained infertility. IVF is also used in cases where men suffer from low sperm count or sperm motility.
An IVF cycle lasts typically around 6 weeks. This doesn’t mean you have to spend 6 weeks away from home. Some initial tests and part of the treatment can be done at home, leaving you the option to only be physically at the clinic for egg retrieval, fertilization and embryo transfer, which will take approximately 7 to 10 days.
Here’s a breakdown of the IVF steps and which ones can be done remotely or need to be done at the clinic:
Ovarian stimulation: Can be done in person or distance - for distance: The clinic can prescribe you the medication that you purchase locally and administer at home.
Egg retrieval: Needs to be done at the clinic
Sperm production: Needs to be done at the clinic
Fertilization & embryo development: Needs to be done at the clinic
Embryo transfer: Needs to be done at the clinic
Pregnancy test: In order to know if IVF was successful, you’ll need to take a blood test, which you can also do at your local practice.
Before starting the IVF procedure, there are a few tests required that you can take at your local practice, including:
Here is a breakdown of how in vitro fertilisation works step by step.
The IVF process actually starts long before the treatment itself. You will be prescribed a round of fertility medications, usually in the form of injections, in order to stimulate egg production. Typically, it will be 2 injections per day (1 in the morning and 1 in the evening) that you can carry out yourself at home. Your doctor may perform ultrasounds around day 8 to ensure that the eggs are developing. You will get a “trigger injection” towards the end of the stimulation to get your eggs ready for ovulation. Shortly after this, your egg retrieval will happen.
The second step in the IVF process involves collecting your eggs. This is an outpatient procedure that may last 20 to 30 minutes under general anesthesia. The procedure involves guiding a hollow needle into each ovary to obtain the eggs. The specialist utilizes ultrasound imaging throughout the procedure to make it as quick and efficient as possible. Before the retrieval, the specialist will use ultrasound imaging to get an idea of how many eggs can be collected. The average number collected is 8-15 eggs. You will be able to leave the office that day but make sure you have someone to pick you up.
Once the eggs have been extracted, the man will be asked to provide a sperm sample to combine with the eggs. If the woman is utilizing a sperm bank, the previously selected donor sperm will be ready in the lab.
The next step in the IVF process involves fertilisation. Your eggs and some sperm will be placed in a dish (in vitro), where they will have the chance to find each other and fertilise like they would naturally in the body. The resulting embryos will be put into a special incubator for optimal growth and development. It can take anywhere from 3 to 6 days before the fertilised eggs have developed into embryos. They will be transferred to your uterus once ready.
In vitro fertilisation finally involves transferring the embryos to your uterus. This procedure is pretty simple, similar to a pap smear. Your fertility specialist will place the embryos into a small tube (catheter). The catheter is then placed through your cervix and the embryos are deposited into your uterus. It takes about 5 minutes, you’ll be awake, there’s no anaesthetic, and you can get up straight away. You can continue with your day, the embryo can’t fall out if you stand up or go to the toilet.
It is recommended that you try to relax and take it easy, especially during the 2 weeks after implantation. Try to eliminate all stress to achieve the best possible condition for the embryos to implant successfully. In order to help achieve maximum chance of success for implantation, you might also be provided with progesterone to administer into the vagina for around 10 days.
If you notice some light bleeding during this time, there is generally no reason to be worried. This phenomenon can be normal and is called “implantation bleeding.” However, inform your doctor if the bleeding becomes heavy.
You can take a pregnancy test 10-14 days after the embryo transfer. It is recommended to wait for the blood test at the clinic as home pregnancy tests might yield false results due to the high level of hormones in your body.
Success rates for in vitro fertilisation depend on different factors, including age. Women under the age of 35 have a 40% chance of achieving pregnancy via IVF, while the figure for those aged over 40 is around 11%.
If the first IVF cycle was not successful, you might have the option to undergo a second one. Many patients undergo multiple cycles before achieving a successful pregnancy. It is not uncommon that women undergoing IVF produce too many eggs for implantation, giving them the option to freeze these eggs for future use and avoid the stimulation and retrieval phases in the following cycles.
IVF procedures should not be painful, although minor cramping and discomfort can accompany the implantation stage. Side effects are generally mild, but can include constipation, breast tenderness, hot flashes, weight gain, nausea and headaches. However, recovery from the implantation is virtually instant, and patients can leave the clinic on the same day.
Women may also experience psychological side effects of the IVF process. The hormones used to stimulate egg production are associated with mood swings and depression, while the anxiety of seeking a successful result can also be psychologically challenging. Make sure to have someone who can support you throughout your journey. If you need support finding the right fertility specialist, we’re here for you.
Costs for In Vitro Fertilization depend on how many cycles you undergo, your overall health conditions, and medications needed. As shown in the table below, prices from country to country can vary greatly.
Displayed locations reflect average package prices (treatment and airport transfer) booked through Qunomedical. Cost for transport to the destination (e.g. airfare) is not included. Below are average prices for an IVF cycle in different countries. Prices may vary depending on individual needs and conditions.
In Vitro Fertilization is offered in 5 countries
12 Reviews in All Countries
January 12, 2020| Gaia Fertility, Cyprus
I cannot recommend Gaia Fertility enough and am eternally grateful to them
I had my IVF in Cyprus with an amazing team, honestly after trying for so long I really had lost all hope, I was being told different things by so many doctors and clinics. I decided to try abroad as a last resort and I am so thankful I did, the patience from my coordinator who was by my side every step, and the Dr who finally offered a different technique which miraculously worked the first time, I cannot recommend GaiaFertility enough and am eternally grateful to them"
Mariam K. F.,
March 18, 2019| Eco Clinic IVF, Russia
The doctor gave us a consultation, provided advice and recommendations. She devoted enough time to us and we found out everything we wanted.
I liked that Garibidi Elena Vladimirovna explains and describes everything properly. Everything is clean-cut, clear and on point. The initial consultation started half an hour late for an unknown reason. The doctor gave us a consultation, provided advice and recommendations. She devoted enough time to us and we found out everything we wanted. Our treatment was nice and positive. We will come again.
March 4, 2019| Eco Clinic IVF, Russia
I was offered two ways of solving it, and the doctor told me about both of them in great detail: what is going to happen, how it is going to happen, which is better for me personally. The doctor provided clean-cut and clear answers to every question I had.
I was choosing the doctor by the rating and picked Anna Alexandrovna. The doctor made the best impression. She listened to me, personally performed ultrasonography and revealed the problem. I was offered two ways of solving it, and the doctor told me about both of them in great detail: what is going to happen, how it is going to happen, which is better for me personally. The doctor provided clean-cut and clear answers to every question I had. I consider her to be a very qualified specialist.
Hayala K. S.,
February 19, 2019| Eco Clinic IVF, Russia
Anna Alexandrovna doesn’t talk her patients’ ears off, she only explains the essence accessibly. It is very pleasant and comfortable to communicate with a person so beautiful in all aspects.
I’ve been followed up by Anna Alexandrovna Ryzhova for a few years. Infertility is not the only women’s problem that this personable, tactful, composed, confident in her words and prescriptions doctor successfully deals with. She listens patiently when the patient talks, despite their explanations being confused and incoherent, which is very rare these days: the doctors have lost their ability to listen. At the end of the appointment the patient can be sure the doctor has heard her and understood all complaints and requests. Anna Alexandrovna doesn’t talk her patients’ ears off, she only explains the essence accessibly. It is very pleasant and comfortable to communicate with a person so beautiful in all aspects. Thank you, Anna Alexandrovna, I wish you health and all the best!
January 23, 2019| Eco Clinic IVF, Russia
We received infertility treatment in January 2018, and in October 2018 we welcomed our little daughter!!! Anna Alexandrovna Ryzhova selected a treatment regimen properly and effectively!!
I’d like to express huge gratitude to all personnel of the clinic!!! We received infertility treatment in January 2018, and in October 2018 we welcomed our little daughter!!! Anna Alexandrovna Ryzhova selected a treatment regimen properly and effectively!!! Thanks to your clinic’s work people obtain their long-awaited happiness!!! THANK YOU VERY MUCH EVERYONE!!!
August 15, 2018| Eco Clinic IVF, Russia
In a word, the treatment experience in clinic "ECO" is a great memory of my life.
It is really a pleasant experience during the treatment procedure in clinic "ECO". I am a foreigner patient, and do not know any Russian At first, I am afraid that we can not communicate with each other well. But under the help of the clinic's CEO, Elena Pilyagina, we fully understand each other. She is always helping, giving her professional advice, introducing the detailed treatment plan, solving all the question that I am confused of, and arranging all the stages of the program. And other staffs of the clinic are very kind as well, they are always on my side and explain all the issues that I care of. In a word, the treatment experience in clinic "ECO" is a great memory of my life.
April 10, 2018| Eco Clinic IVF, Russia
She is a wonderful specialist, a great professional in her field. She correctly diagnosed me with HPV and helped me cope with it.
I’ve sought medical advice from Garibidiy Elena Vladimirovna time after time. I’ve been followed up by her for a long time. She is a wonderful specialist, a great professional in her field. She correctly diagnosed me with HPV and helped me cope with it. She is attentive, polite, amiable. She behaves ethically toward patients. I am very pleased with the doctor’s work.
Sophie and Charles,
February 22, 2018| Institut Marques, Spain
Thank you for your affection
First of all and no matter what happens, my husband and I are very grateful for all the care you have given us from the first minute after entering through the door of the Masía. All the affection, support, professionalism, sympathy… I do not have enough attributes to describe the love we have received so far. In a few days we will get our results and, even if it does not work this first time, we are not going to give up, we will continue to trust the whole team, as I am sure we will get there. Congratulations Institut Marquès for being the pioneering centre, not only in Assisted Reproduction, but also in the care and love for your patients. A big hug for all the staff and thank you, Dr. López-Teijón, for your time. I just wanted to show you my appreciation.
Irene and Pedro,
February 22, 2018| Institut Marques, Spain
The most desirable dream
Our dream has come true. So much time of struggle to fulfill the most desirable dream: our chubby boy! This year we got the best gift ever. Thank you very much to the whole team and thanks to Dr. Andrade for her help… Warm wishes
October 30, 2017| Eco Clinic IVF, Russia
I was lucky to have Anna Alexandrovna supervise me during my first pregnancy. I’ve been recalling Anna Alexandrovna with warm feelings for almost 15 years.
I’ve been followed up by Anna Alexandrovna since 2003, when she was still working in an ordinary clinic for women. I was lucky to have Anna Alexandrovna supervise me during my first pregnancy. It was always pleasant to come to her appointment: the examination was thorough, the recommendations were worthwhile, she was attentive and amiable. It was obvious the doctor who treats her duties in such manner would not stay in a municipal clinic for long. She needed progress and prospects. I’ve been recalling Anna Alexandrovna with warm feelings for almost 15 years. Unfortunately, I’ve never had such luck with other doctors of this specialization anymore.