In vitro Fertilization meaning fertilization outside the human body, IVF is a technique of assisted reproduction that is used for sub fertile couples. In IVF the oocyte and washed sperms are kept in a petri dish for fertilization. The fertilised ovum is then left in the culture medium to grow from day 2 to day 6. Depending on the case the embryos are transferred in the uterus to implant.
Process of IVF takes about 20 days. It starts with controlled ovarian stimulation in which the ovaries are stimulated numerous follicles grow for about 10 days followed by an LH trigger. 35 to 36 hours after the LH trigger oocytes are retrieved.
The sperm sample is prepared for IVF and the retrieved eggs are added in the semen sample and kept in the incubator for fertilization. The embryos are grown for 2 to 6 days and then transferred. IVF is usually advised to patients with infertility due to female factors. Patients who are advised donor egg or surrogacy will also go for IVF.
• The process of retrieving the oocyte from the grown follicle is known as oocyte pick up. This is a simple, scar less , ultrasound guided procedure. The ovum pickup needle gently aspirates the follicle from the ovaries under ultrasound guidance. This is also known as oocyte aspiration. This process takes about 30 minutes and is done under anesthesia. This comes under day care procedure , so the patient can go home in 4 to 5 hours. Oocytes are carefully picked form the follicle and kept in a growth medium.
• The male partner is asked to give the semen sample using sterile techniques. This sample is then washed and processed in the lab for IVF. Wasing of the sample in the lab helps removal of bacteria and infection present in the sample.
• The prepared semen sample and the oocytes are now added in the Petri dish with growth medium and kept to fertilise in the incubator.
• This is the final step of IVF in which the embryos from the incubator are transferred into the mother’s uterus under ultrasound guidance.