The step-by-step process that fertility clinics follow for in-vitro fertilization includes gynecological testing, evaluation of the patient, administering medications for stimulating the woman’s ovulation, retrieving the eggs, fertilization and incubation of the eggs, implantation of the embryo, and monitoring of the embryo implantation.
A jacksonville fertility clinic specializes in giving care and medical treatment to people who have difficulty conceiving a child. Typically, fertility clinics have a step-by-step process for the various medical treatments they conduct on their patients. One of the most common treatments employed in fertility clinics is in-vitro fertilization (IVF). This method also has its own set of steps.
Gynecological testing is the initial procedure undertaken by the female patient to confirm her infertility. This procedure is important in determining whether IVF treatment is the best course of action to take.
Evaluation of the patient
The evaluation step immediately follows confirmation of the patient’s infertility. This step can take as long as one to two months and may be divided into parts. The first part involves extensive orientation and education of the couple as to what IVF treatment is all about. The second part is diagnostic testing where the patient is examined to see if she can indeed get pregnant by IVF treatment.
Administering medications for stimulating the woman’s ovulation
The fertility doctor administers two hormone medications to the patient during the onset of her menstrual cycle. The first medication helps control the timing of the woman’s ovulation period while the other medication is used to stimulate production of the woman’s eggs. Both medications are administered through injections and are taken daily. During the course of the medication, the patient wil also undergoes trans-vaginal ultrasounds. This helps assess the development of the follicles where the woman’s eggs are contained. After the doctor determines that the woman’s eggs are fully matured and ready for ovulation a third medication is administered. This last one helps stimulate the ovaries to release the eggs. Usually this is undertaken on the 12th day during the course of the treatment.
Retrieving the eggs
The woman’s eggs are retrieved as soon as they mature. The egg retrieval step begins with the doctor administering anesthesia to the patient. The eggs are transferred from the follicles to a test tube through a needle. A trans-vaginal ultrasound is also conducted to guide the procedure.
Fertilization and incubation of the eggs
The retrieved eggs are combined with sperm collected from the husband. About 60% of the total number of retrieved eggs will be fertilized. After the fertilization phase, the eggs undergo incubation and close monitoring for a period of about 3 to 5 days.
Implantation of the embryo
The resulting embryos from the previous step are evaluated for quality. An astraumatic catheter is used to transfer the desired number of embryos into the patient’s uterus. Usually, about 2 to 4 embryos are implanted. The unused embryos can be preserved through cryopreservation so they can be used in the future in case the first attempt at pregnancy fails.
Monitoring of the embryo implantation
In this step, the patient takes progesterone, which will help in the implantation of the embryos. A pregnancy test is given on the 10th day. If the pregnancy test is positive, the patient can then go to her own physician for prenatal care. If the embryos are not successfully implanted, a new cycle of the treatment can be conducted.
The success of each step in the process affects the overall success of the fertility treatment so it is important that each step is properly carried out and completed.