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About in Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

In vitro fertilization is an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) for the treatment of infertility, which has been used since 1980 and involves the fusion of male and female reproductive cells outside the body. As a result, the received embryo is transferred to the woman’s uterus. This field is constantly developing, and today, more than 5 million babies have been born with this method worldwide. 

In vitro fertilization (IVF) consists of several stages: ovarian stimulation; egg retrieval (Ovum Pick-up (OPU) ; embryo fertilization; transferring the embryo into the uterus; freezing of remaining embryos (vitrification);


IVF Cycle Phases

The in vitro fertilization process consists of five phases:

First phase: ovarian stimulation

During a normal menstrual cycle, only one egg develops and matures each month. The egg matures inside a fluid-filled sac in the ovary called a follicle. But for the in vitro fertilization method to be effective, it is necessary to receive several eggs. Ovarian stimulation is used for this very purpose, which involves taking several days of medication (injections). And to monitor the growth of follicles, ultrasound examination and laboratory tests are used.

Second phase: Egg retrieval (Ovum Pick-up (OPU) )

When the follicles reach the required size, retrieval (ovum pick-up) of the follicles is performed 34-36 hours after the last injection. This procedure takes 15-25 minutes, is painless (the retrieval process is carried out under intravenous anesthesia) and, most importantly, is absolutely safe for health.

Our doctors (through a fine needle) carefully retrieve the follicular fluid from the mature eggs. After this procedure, the patient stays with us for several hours, under the supervision of doctors, and then returns to her usual lifestyle.

Third phase: fertilization and cultivation

Our embryologist carefully evaluates the condition of the eggs in the follicular fluid, checks the maturation stage; from the collected sperm sample, the healthiest spermatozoa are separated, and then the eggs are fertilized. In some cases, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be used. In this process, the embryologist physically injects the sperm into the egg. ICSI can help overcome certain male infertility problems, such as low sperm quality, low sperm count, anatomical abnormalities, or post-vasectomy infertility.

An embryologist assesses which eggs have successfully fertilized by examining the cell divisions that have taken place up to that point. Before transfer, the embryologist will classify the embryos according to the probability of successful implantation in the uterus. Embryos with the best characteristics that divide properly and at a normal rate will be selected for transfer.

Fourth phase: Embryo transfer

In the final phase of the IVF procedure, the embryos developed in our laboratory are transferred to the patient’s uterus. The procedure is painless and takes a few minutes.

Fifth phase: control blood tests and a visit to an obstetrician-gynecologist

After the embryo transfer, the patient should continue the necessary treatment and 10-12 days after the embryo transfer, she should undergo a pregnancy test. We recommend that a pregnancy test, human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (β-HCG) and the first obstetric ultrasound (if necessary) be performed with us so that we can provide full medical and emotional support.