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What is in vitro fertilization? IVF step by step

Year after year, many women delay motherhood to achieve job, economic or sentimental stability. But the biological clock ticks and with the passage of time fertility declines. In fact, the probability of getting pregnant at 35 years old is half that of 25 years old and in the case of women over 40 years old the fertility rate is 4% per cycle.

Generally, specialists recommend that couples attend assisted reproduction consultations if a pregnancy has not been achieved after a year of having sexual relations without any protection (in the case of those over 35 years of age the period is reduced to half a year and in over 40 to three months).

In vitro fertilization as an alternative 

Not only women can have problems having children. Many times it is men who have poor sperm quality or some genetic disease that prevents them from getting their partner pregnant. For this reason, more and more people decide to resort to the Best IVF Center in Lahore to have a baby. It is a technique used to unite an egg and a sperm in a laboratory, when fertilization has not been achieved by natural means or through artificial insemination. In this way, fertilized embryos are obtained and subsequently introduced into the woman’s uterus.

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In IVF there can be four different cases. It can be done:

With the couple’s eggs and sperm

With donor eggs and sperm

With donor eggs and the couple’s sperm

With partner eggs and donor sperm.

Generally, the couple’s semen is used in cases in which Artificial Insemination has previously failed, when the woman has an injury to the tubes or no tubes at all, when there is advanced endometriosis, she has few oocytes or there is severe male factor (less than 500,000 motile sperm in the total ejaculate). Donor sperm is used when IVF has been previously attempted with the partner’s sperm and has failed or in the event that the woman does not have a male partner, among other circumstances.

Phases of in vitro fertilization

The treatment requires a lot of patience on the part of the couple, but if a pregnancy is achieved with it, the effort will have been worth it. It consists of various phases that we present below:

1.  Ovarian stimulation.

 It consists of the induction of multiple ovulation in women through hormonal medication (administration of daily injections of the hormones FSH and HMG). The aim is to obtain more than one oocyte per cycle, thus increasing the chances of achieving a pregnancy through assisted reproduction. It lasts between 8 and 14 days, generally beginning on the second or third day of menstruation. Throughout the treatment, blood and ultrasound controls are frequently performed to determine follicular maturation and thus know when is the best time to extract the eggs in the case of in vitro fertilization or to inseminate them artificially. In this way, pituitary inhibition is carried out (the endogenous gonadotropins produced by the pituitary are suppressed), to avoid any possible interference from the woman’s internal hormones that could derail the process.

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Ovarian stimulation allows you to have more than one fertilizable egg. 15% of women who resort to assisted reproduction have twins for this reason.

2. Ovarian puncture. 

It is performed when it is considered that there is already a significant number of mature eggs, the ovarian puncture is performed, after sedation and in the operating room. 

3. Preparation of semen.

In the laboratory, the sperm that have the highest quality are selected, regardless of whether they are from the couple or from a donor extracted from a sperm bank.

4. Fertilization of the eggs. 

Once the eggs and sperm are obtained (by collecting a semen sample from the couple or donor semen), insemination is performed in a laboratory. It can be done in two ways: conventionally (placing an egg, surrounded by sperm, in a culture dish) or by intracytoplasmic microinjection (ICSI) (insemination of an egg by microinjecting a sperm inside, thereby only one sperm is needed per egg).

The egg, once fertilized, becomes a pre-embryo and is transferred to the uterus to continue its development

5. Embryo culture. 

The embryos that have resulted from fertilization are observed for days in the laboratory.

6.  Embryo transfer.

 Introduction of the best embryos into the mother’s uterus. We will examine the different factors that influence the IVF Cost in Pakistan, provide a detailed breakdown of expenses, and offer insight into what potential patients can expect when considering IVF in Pakistan.

7. Freezing of the remaining embryos.

 It is done to avoid having to perform a new ovarian stimulation, in the event that in vitro fertilization does not go ahead. 

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Currently in Pakistan around 50,000 In Vitro Fertilization cycles and 23,000 Artificial Inseminations are carried out . Most are carried out in private centers.

If you are looking to get pregnant but, for various reasons, you are not able to do so and you consider that a reasonable amount of time has passed, it is time to make an appointment with an assisted reproduction doctor. At Genova Infertility Centre we have an offer that may interest you.