What does IVF stand for and what is it?
IVF stands for in vitro fertilisation, and it is a fertility treatment that utilises assisted reproductive technology (ART) in helping couples achieve a pregnancy when they have failed to do so naturally.
IVF was first developed by Professor Woods and Patrick Steptoe in the late nineteen seventies. As a result, the first baby, Louise Brown, following an IVF treatment was born in 1978. Since then over 3 million babies have been born following the use of such technologies.
The IVF process involves taking fertility medications to encourage the development of multiple follicles. These follicles are fluid-filled structures which are surrounded by a membrane and contain an egg inside. You will then be monitored my ultrasound scans and blood tests to assess the development of these follicles. When the eggs are considered to be mature enough, you will undergo a minor surgical procedure under conscious sedation called egg collection, and this procedure is done vaginally.
Once the eggs are retrieved these are then inseminated with the sperms and then the embryologist will do the checks on a daily basis till the embryo is ready to be implanted back. The transfer of the embryos usually takes place nowadays on the day 5 or blastocyst stage. Once the embryos have been replaced you will then take a pregnancy test two to three weeks later.
IVF Connected Treatments
It’s also important to know that IVF forms basis for other treatments such as intra-cytoplasmic sperm insemination (ICSI). It also forms the foundation of the pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) or comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS). So even if you would be undergoing those treatments, you would still have to follow the IVF process.