Couples who have tried repeatedly to conceive with a child but have not succeeded, need medical intervention at times. One of these procedures is called Assisted Reproductive Technology, commonly known as ART. ART helps couples start a family with a wide range of fertility treatments such as In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI), In Vitro Maturation (IVM), Vitrification (The Fast-Freezing Method), Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), etc.
The widely popular ART is In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). This treatment basically collects the couple's sperms and eggs in a Petri dish or a glass dish (which is called 'in vitro' in Latin). The entire process is non-surgical and painless. The sperm fertilises the egg under the supervision of an embryologist. The couple is then asked to visit again after three to five days. Meanwhile, the embryo undergoes fertilisation and becomes a zygote. This zygote is placed into the uterus through the cervix with the hope of undergoing a successful pregnancy.
Each and every stage of this treatment is closely monitored with precision.
1) Ovarian Hyper Stimulation: In this stage, fertility medications are injected into the body through different protocols for the sole purpose of stimulating the development of multiple follicles of the ovaries, thus increasing chances of pregnancy.
2) Egg Retrieval: This stage involves injecting HCG just before the follicles split. The egg is then recovered for the procedure only when it has been fully matured.
3) Reading the Egg and Sperm: Sperm washing has to be done in order to remove inactive cells and seminal fluid. This sperm is then ready to fertilise the best quality eggs with oocyte selection for optimal chances of a successful healthy pregnancy.
4) Embryo Culture: In the blastocyst stage, the culture of embryos is performed either artificially or using the female's own uterine lining.
5) Embryo Selection: In this stage, the morphological scoring system is used to pick the highest scoring embryo for optimum pregnancy rate.
6) Embryo Transfer: The final stage of the IVF Procedure is the transferring of the best embryo based on the number of cells it contains, to the uterus.
The whole IVF process may sound simple but, if not done in a quality medical centre, it can lead to several complications in the later stages of pregnancy.
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