In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is an advanced form of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that can help infertile couples and those struggling to conceive. The term “in vitro” means “within glass,” referring to the fact that the fertilization process takes place outside of the body, in a laboratory setting. During IVF, a woman’s eggs are extracted from her ovaries and fertilized with sperm in the lab. The resulting fertilized eggs, or embryos, are then transferred back into the woman’s uterus to develop and grow.
The IVF procedure involves several stages. The first stage is ovarian stimulation, where the aim is to retrieve as many mature eggs as possible. This maximizes the chances of fertilization and successful embryo development. The second stage is egg retrieval, where a needle is passed through the vagina under ultrasound guidance to retrieve the eggs from the ovaries. Fertilization of the eggs occurs in the lab, either by combining sperm and eggs together or through a process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), where a single sperm is injected directly into an egg.
The embryos are then cultured in the lab for several days before being transferred back into the woman’s uterus through a catheter passed through the cervix. This is the final and most crucial stage of the IVF procedure. The transfer itself is a short procedure, lasting between 15 and 30 minutes.
Following the embryo transfer, a blood test is typically conducted two weeks later to determine whether the woman is pregnant. If the embryo has implanted in the uterus, the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) will be detectable in the woman’s blood at that time. All of these IVF procedures are performed by specialized medical professionals.
Dr. Usha Khand Shrestha
Dr. Bhaba Malla
Dr. Chunumila Maharjan