Commonly known as IVF, in-vitro fertilisation is one of several techniques designed to help people with fertility issues to conceive. During IVF, sperm is put into the woman’s eggs in a laboratory to produce embryos. In vitro means ‘in glass’, which is why IVF is also sometimes called a ‘test tube baby’ procedure.
What does IVF involve?
the IVF procedure starts with ‘regulation’ – we temporarily switch off your natural hormone cycle.
hormone injections are given to encourage your ovaries to produce eggs.
your eggs are collected when the follicles (the collection of fluid within the ovary) reach the right size, and the uterus lining is thick enough.
the eggs and sperm, which your partner produced on the day of egg collection, are placed together in a laboratory dish to allow fertilisation and embryo growth to happen.
the embryo is placed in your uterus – usually on the second, third or the fifth day after egg collection, when the fertilised egg has divided and contains two to eight cells. A day-five transfer is known as blastocyst transfer.
around 10% of cycles are cancelled before the planned egg collection because:
there’s an excessive response to stimulation and the risk of hyperstimulation syndrome (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, or OHSS) is substantial.