If you have fertility problems, one possible solution is to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF). The process involves a specialist removing an egg from the ovaries and fertilizing it with sperm in a laboratory. The specialist returns the fertilized egg to the womb to grow and develop. Here are the duties of an IVF specialist:
Boost Egg Production
The specialist can give you specific drugs that increase egg production. Your body will start to produce more than the usual one egg each month. Producing more eggs may increase the probability of successful fertilization during the IVF process.
During each menstrual cycle, your ovaries produce a group of eggs. Only one egg from the group normally matures and is ready for fertilization. The rest of the eggs disintegrate. Your specialist will inject you with specific medications to make all eggs in a group mature each month.
The type of medication depends on your medical history and overall health. The specialist will monitor your response to the medication every few days or weeks. Each monitoring session involves the specialist using an ultrasound to view and inspect your ovaries and uterus.
The specialist can’t see your eggs because they are too small to be seen using ultrasound. Instead, they will measure the size of the ovarian follicles. If the follicles are larger than a specific size, they contain a mature egg. Once the specialist is sure your eggs are mature, they will give you a trigger shot. The trigger shot prepares the egg for removal from the ovaries.
You will visit the specialist’s office for an outpatient minor surgery. The specialist can administer an anesthetic to prevent any discomfort during the surgery. This procedure is called follicular aspiration and requires the use of ultrasound.
With the help of ultrasound, the specialist will inject a needle through the vagina. They will then guide the needle to each of your ovaries. The needle has a device on its tip that can suck out the eggs. This suction device will suck out one egg at a time. An IVF specialist stores the eggs carefully and then sends them to the lab.
The sperm retrieval process can happen before the egg retrieval process. The specialist obtains the sperm from your partner or male donor and freezes it until required. Most specialists prefer to work with fresh sperm as they have better chances of fertilization. They may recommend that the sperm retrieval occur on the same day as the egg retrieval process.
If the male donor has a healthy ejaculation, they deposit their sperm in a container. Some men have blockages that may prevent ejaculation. In such a situation, the specialist can do various procedures to retrieve the sperm from the male donor.
Unite Sperms and Eggs
If the specialist collects immature eggs, they put them in a dish and add sperm. The specialist will also add some nutrients. Once the egg matures, the sperm will fertilize it in the dish. The specialist can also choose to do intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Your specialist will directly inject sperm into an egg. This process works well for mature eggs.
They will then repeat this process for as many eggs as possible. ICSI has a higher success rate than putting eggs in a dish. Any egg that gets successfully fertilized develops into an embryo.
Monitor Embryo Growth
The IVF specialist will monitor the fertilized egg’s growth and development over the next few days. A sizable chunk of the fertilized embryos may successfully develop into blastocysts. After a few days, the specialist determines if any eggs can be transferred to the uterus. If more than one egg is suitable, the specialist can freeze the other eggs and save them for later.
Transfer the Embryo
Your specialist may give you hormones to prepare your body for the exertion of the embryo. The hormones can be in the form of an injection or oral supplement. You will visit the specialist a few times, where they will take tests to determine the readiness of your uterus. They will also do a blood test to check the level of hormones in the body.
The specialist will place a speculum inside your vagina and insert a catheter. They will attach a syringe containing an embryo to the catheter. They will then inject the embryo into your uterus.
Work With an IVF Specialist
The IVF process is a modern way to bring life into the world. The first step is to find an IVF specialist who can guide you throughout the journey. Search for a reputable clinic and specialist who can provide you with excellent services and transparent treatment.