The In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Procedure
After the evaluations have shown that in vitro fertilization (IVF) is a good choice for you, and if you have agreed upon the legal contract, an anonymous egg donor will be assisting you in reaching your goal of pregnancy. The eggs which have been retrieved and fertilized in the laboratory are then cultured in preparation for implantation. The fertilized eggs, also known as embryos, are ready to be transferred to the recipient in three to six days. The chance of success is increased if at least five, and preferably more than seven, eggs are implanted.
While the recipient is under anesthesia, the physician uses a speculum to expose the cervix. A catheter is then inserted, to transfer the embryos into her uterus. In most cases, a multiple fertilized eggs are used to increase the chance of success. There is usually a small amount of cramping, but the process rarely involves any significant pain. The recovery
time after the IVF procedure is brief and without complications for most women.
The physician monitors the recipient in order to determine whether implantation has been successful, and to ensure that no complications such as infections have occurred. Two weeks after the IVF procedure, the woman returns to her physician to undergo a pregnancy test. If pregnancy has not occurred, the procedure can be repeated. Unused donor eggs may have been frozen and kept in the laboratory for this purpose.
The IVF procedure is a painstaking process which must be done by a qualified, experienced physician. While the concern about becoming pregnant is quite stressful to most women, not achieving pregnancy and possibly needing to undergo the procedure again is the only actual drawback to IVF. It is relatively painless for most women, and complications from IVF are rare. When pregnancy occurs from the IVF procedure, it is reasonable to expect a healthy pregnancy and birth.
Couples with fertility problems should find a fertility specialist. Fortunately, for those that do suffer from male or female fertility problems, there are a range of treatment options available, including the use of an egg donor or in-vitro fertilization (IVF).