In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a multi-step process that can result in a baby.
People who choose IVF can prepare by considering the procedure’s seven-step process:
- Determine whether IVF is the right option
- Take fertility drugs
- Sperm sample analysis
- Embryo transfer
- Pregnancy results
Although IVF is a lengthy, expensive process, it is an effective fertility treatment for many people. Surrogacy professionals can help you learn how to use IVF to grow your family on your own or through gestational surrogacy. But, in the meantime, you can learn more about the multi-step IVF process below.
How Does IVF Work?
The Mayo Clinic reports that IVF is used to help people experiencing infertility have a baby. The process also is used to help people conceive who don’t want to pass certain hereditary traits to their children.
- Physically involved
Your doctor may determine IVF is right for you if:
- You are a woman over 40
- Have certain health conditions
- Experienced fallopian tube damage or blockage
- Have ovulation disorders, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, previous tubal ligation, or impaired sperm production
- Are experiencing unexplained infertility
The IVF Process [7 Steps]
Before you go to your doctor and request IVF, familiarize yourself with the seven common steps people go through.
Step 1: IVF Screening
When you ask your doctor if IVF is an option for you, your doctor will likely perform a few medical screenings. This ensures that IVF is a viable option for your fertility circumstances.
Step 2: Fertility Drugs
Your medical provider will give you or your partner various medications to help increase the chance of conception.
These drugs can:
- Simulate egg production
- Help eggs mature
- Prevent premature ovulation
- Prepare the uterus lining for implantation
Step 3: Pre-Retrieval Tests
After taking these medications, a doctor will check if you or your partner is ready for egg retrieval. These tests include bloodwork and a vaginal ultrasound.
Step 4: Sperm Collection
Similar to how eggs are collected, sperm is collected, too. You or your partner will provide a sperm sample.
Step 5: Insemination
During this step, eggs and sperm are combined and stored at your doctor’s office to encourage fertilization. A doctor may use a technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Once your doctor notices cell division, the eggs are considered embryos.
Step 6: Get Ready for the Transfer
Once fertilization happens, your doctor will schedule the transfer. This procedure will happen at your doctor’s office or your fertility clinic.
During the embryo transfer, your doctor will:
- Insert a small tube, called a catheter, into your or your partner’s vagina, then through the cervix, and into the uterus.
- Place a syringe that contains the embryos into the uterus.
Step 7: Pregnancy Test
Twelve days after the transfer, a doctor will run bloodwork to see if you or your partner is pregnant. If a pregnancy is confirmed, you will begin working with an OBGYN. If a pregnancy is not confirmed, then you and your partner can:
- Try another round of IVF
- Try another family-building option, like gestational surrogacy
Using IVF in Surrogacy
If you and your partner determine IVF is not for you or stop pursuing it after an unsuccessful cycle, know that you aren’t alone, and it’s normal to feel grief about what happened. Don’t push yourself to move through this period. Take all the time you need to process how you both feel.
If you do decide to pursue parenthood, you both may start to consider other family-building options. One common option that people choose to pursue is surrogacy.
Surrogacy is when a surrogate, intended parents and various professionals come together to achieve one goal: To bring a healthy child into the world.
On your surrogacy journey, you will work with:
- A surrogate who will undergo IVF to carry and deliver your child
- A surrogacy agency that will provide you with surrogacy professionals who will safely and legally complete your surrogacy
- A fertility clinic that helps create the embryo that will be transferred to the surrogate
All modern surrogacies are gestational. This means that:
- You and your partner’s gametes will be used to create the embryo
- A sperm donor, an egg donor, or both will be used to create the embryo
- The baby is not related to the surrogate
Benefits of Working with a Surrogacy Agency
Although you could choose to pursue surrogacy on your own, a surrogacy agency will make the process much smoother. The following are just a few benefits of working with a surrogacy agency:
- You get to work with a surrogacy professional who will support you throughout your entire surrogacy journey
- Other helpful surrogacy professional references
- Surrogate match-making services
- Financial protection
- And more
Start Your Parenthood Journey Today
If your doctor determines that IVF could work for you, it’s a great, effective way to become a parent. But, if you’ve already tried IVF or have decided it’s not right for your situation, you can still experience parenthood through surrogacy.
Contact us today to get more information about your family-building options.