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IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) is one of the popular fertility procedures/techniques to have a baby by couples with infertility due to various reasons.


During IVF, the eggs are fertilised with sperm in the laboratory to create embryos. Next, those embryos are transferred to the womb to achieve a pregnancy and birth.


What does the entire IVF procedure involve?


IVF involves six main stages:


  1. Suppressing your natural cycle – your menstrual cycle is suppressed with medicine
  2. Helping your ovaries produce extra eggs – medicine is used to encourage your ovaries to produce more than one egg at a time
  3. Monitoring your progress and maturing your eggs – an ultrasound scan is carried out to check the development of the eggs, and medicine is used to help them mature
  4. Collecting the eggs – a needle is inserted through your vagina and into your ovaries to remove the eggs
  5. Fertilising the eggs – the eggs are mixed with the sperm for a few days to allow them to be fertilised
  6. Transferring the embryo(s) – 1 or 2 fertilised eggs (embryos) are placed into your womb.


Once the embryo(s) has been transferred into your womb, you will need to wait two weeks before taking a pregnancy test to see if the treatment has worked.


Like any other treatment, IVF also carries some risks, such as:


  • Medicinal side effects, such as hot flushes and headaches 
  • Multiple births,such as twins or triplets
  • Ectopic pregnancy – where the embryo implants in the fallopian tubes rather than in the womb
  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) – where the ovaries overreact to the medicines used during IVF