Starting an in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment is an important decision for any woman or couple. A variety of factors need to be considered, such as how the daily routine of the patient or their partner will be affected, since IVF treatments take a certain amount of time to complete.
In this article, we are going to explain the amount of time that is needed to perform in vitro fertilization, and the steps that are involved in the process from start to finish.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS OF IVF TREATMENT AND HOW LONG DO THEY LAST?
From our experience, we can confirm that an IVF treatment consists of 5 steps, from the initial consultation to the beta-hCG pregnancy test. We divide them as follows:
FIRST VISIT TO THE FERTILITY CLINIC
The initial consultation with a fertility clinic is a mostly informative visit. In this appointment, the medical team will look at the patient’s medical and fertility history. Using this information the next appointments can be programmed with the required tests and fertility studies. Following these studies, the specialist will recommend the most appropriate treatment and complementary techniques for the patient’s case.
OVARIAN STIMULATION FOR IN VITRO FERTILIZATION
Once the patient has accepted the proposed treatment and estimate, it is the moment to start the process. For ovarian stimulation, the patient administers the hormonal medication, prescribed by the medical team, by means of subcutaneous injections. This is a painless treatment that the patient performs at home, only needing to visit the clinic for a monitoring appointment.
This steps helps multiple ovarian follicles to develop in a controlled manner, so that more oocytes can be obtained and increases the probability of success of the In Vitro Fertilization treatment.
EGG RETRIEVAL FOR IVF
The development of the ovarian follicles is monitored by ultrasound, noting the number and their diameter. When the follicles have reached the required size the patient will be given the appointment for the egg retrieval procedure. This is one of the most important steps and is essential for an IVF treatment. Under sedation, the mature eggs will be extracted from the ovaries, to be taken to the laboratory for fertilization with the sperm.
After the egg retrieval the embryos are created by the fertilization of the oocytes with the sperm cells. The embryos are carefully grown and monitored in the laboratory until they reach the blastocyst stage. The embryologist will then select the embryo that has the best morphology and development, so that it can be transferred into the patient’s uterus.
PREGNANCY TEST AFTER IN VITRO FERTILIZATION
The final step of the IVF process. After the embryo transfer, the patient must wait for the embryo to correctly implant into the uterus in the days following the transfer. In the final appointment, the medical team will perform a blood pregnancy test, commonly known as the beta-hCG, to check if the treatment has been successful and pregnancy achieved.
IN TOTAL, HOW LONG DOES THE TREATMENT LAST?
In general terms, a complete cycle of IVF treatment takes approximately 6 – 7 weeks, and in some cases can be less than a menstrual cycle (around 4 weeks). It all depends on the individual patient, making it impossible to give an exact value, but we can give an approximation from the average treatment length.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON´T GET PREGNANT AFTER AN IVF TREATMENT?
In Vitro Fertilization is a treatment with good success rates, however, it is not always successful and there are other factors that may contribute and need to be studied. At Ovoclinic we are well aware of this reality and as such we have our Pregnancy and Live Birth Guarantee Plans, in which the clinic is committed to achieving your pregnancy, and if we do not we will refund the entire amount of the program.
If you need more information about our In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatments, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of specialists. At Ovoclinic we want to get to know you and design the best treatment program for you. Together from the first steps!