The IVF Cycle
The biggest difference between the regular menstrual cycle and the IVF or In Vitro Fertilization cycle is that ovulation does not occur during the IVF cycle; this is because the eggs are taken back once these have matured and have fertilized in the In Vitro Fertilization laboratory. After this, the embryos will be transferred to your uterus to begin the pregnancy; once these have been transferred back successfully, there will be no distinguishable features between the fertilized embryo in the body or in the IVF lab.
Here, we will give you a more detailed and thorough description of the whole IVF process since it is vital for you to know that this is a step-by-step procedure; because of this, you will not be able to start the IVF cycle until the previous step has been completed.
The first few days during the regular menstrual cycle is called the baseline; if the entire baselines prerequisites are met, then this is considered as the starting point of the IVF cycle. Instead of waiting for the onset of your next period cycle and starting then, the state of your baseline will generally be brought about by a mix of certain medications such as birth control pills and / or Lupron. These drugs produce an even more predictable response, allowing you to better control the levels of hormones effectively.
Every individual who goes through the In Vitro Fertilization process will have to take one of the provided suppression drugs; the available drugs are the micro dose Lupron, Lupron, Cetrotide, Antagon, or Synarel drugs that do not only aid in bringing about the baseline stage but drugs that also prevent you from ovulating on your own once the whole stimulation period begins. During the IVF cycle, it is extremely vital for you to not ovulate for two main reasons: one is if the eggs leave your ovaries, the doctor will not be able to retrieve them. The second is that there will most likely be multiple eggs present for the sperm in the Fallopian tube which will bring you higher chances of multiple-gestation if you ever have intercourse.
It is crucial for you to have a proper baseline and the criterions for its proper evaluation are as follows:
None of the Ovaries have Large Cysts
Hormonal levels of progesterone and estrogen are all low
The uterine lining is sloughed off, thin, and ready to start anew
Progressing to the Retrieval of Eggs
To further develop the growth of multiple follicles on your ovaries, injectable medications are utilized to properly stimulate your ovaries to create more follicles compared to the normal number of production during the regular menstrual cycle. The injectable medication is called the gonadotropin or FSH / stimulation drugs which are given to aid your ovaries to develop multiple follicles over seven to fourteen days. During this period, the doctors will thoroughly monitor your response to the medications by utilizing ultrasounds and hormone tests; the doctors will then evaluate the number and size of follicles in your ovaries, as well as the levels of estrogen present to determine the exact amount of medication necessary.
Retrieval of Eggs
You may also consider this as a form of assisted ovulation; during this period, you will be sedated to sleep comfortably while the doctor extracts the fluid in each of the follicles. He or she will use a needle that is guided by an ultrasound monitor to acquire the liquid which will then be passed in a syringe to the embryologist the person in charge to check if there are any eggs present.
The Embryo Transfer
After three to five days after the egg has been retrieved, the embryos will be returned into your uterus via the embryo transfer; this procedure that is part of the IVF cycle is somewhat similar to a PAP smear test. Other women who have undergone this procedure claim that there is no pain felt during the process which is why patients are not usually sedated.
Day 3 Transfer Against the Blastocyst Transfer
In a lot of IVF cycles, doctors usually recommend the Day Five or Blastocyst Transfer; if the embryo survives during the process in the IVF laboratory after retrieving the egg, it is most likely that this has reached the blastocyst stage. During the stage, it was possible to transfer just two embryos to acquire the same pregnancy rate like transferring three embryos on the third day. Although the process removes all chances of having triplets, it is possible for twin pregnancies with the blastocyst transfer.