After the initial consultation and arranging few blood tests and scan patients are counselled by consultants, nurses and embryologist in full about the full journey of the treatment. Within 2 months from the initial consultation the treatment can start.
When the treatment cycle starts the woman is given daily injections to stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs. The woman will be scanned 3-4 times over two weeks to monitor the growth of the follicles on the ovaries where the egg can be found. When the follicles are mature they will be retrieved with a small needle via the vaginal route with ultrasound guidance (20 minutes) under general anaesthesia. After that the embryologist put the eggs and the sperm together (IVF) or injects the sperm in the egg (ICSI). These will be incubated to fertilise and produce the embryos. The embryos are monitored over the next 2-5 days to select the best embryo(s). Extra good embryos can be frozen to use in the future.
On the day of the embryo transfer one or two embryos are put back in the woman’s uterus under ultrasound guidance. This is similar to a smear test not painful but requires a full bladder. The women can carry on normal life after that until the pregnancy test in 10-12 days.
Leila Stefanos Hanna
IVF involves giving the female partner medication to help the production of multiple eggs in a given cycle ‘superovulation’, collecting the eggs ‘oocyte retrieval’, fertilisation with the sperm and replacement of the embryos inside the womb.