How Is IVF Done?

Fertilization is performed outside the body by extracting out the eggs from the ovaries and incubating them in a special lab plate with the husband's sperm under suitable conditions. Collecting the eggs is done by inserting a syringe to aspirate eggs through the vaginal wall. The position of the syringe is observed using a vaginal ultrasound probe until it reaches the follicle (eggs' casing) then the follicle is emptied in the hope that an egg is obtained. This process is done under light anaesthesia and usually does not exceed 30 minutes.

It is common knowledge that the probability of success increases with the increase in the number of eggs obtained. In order to get a sufficient number of eggs, the ovaries are stimulated by hormonal injections. Monitoring the egg's maturation is done by an ultrasound device which enables measuring of the follicle's diameter.

Hormonal levels correlating to ovulation are also measured by obtaining regular blood samples. When the follicle's diameter reaches 16-18 mm, an HCG hormone muscular injection is given to help in final egg maturity. This hormone is usually given at night and eggs are extracted within 33 to 36 hours after the injection.

The number of follicles seen during ultrasound monitoring reflect the number of potential eggs produced. But in some cases the number of extracted eggs is less than expected due to many reasons one of which is when the follicle does not contain an egg. The number of obtained eggs may also exceed the expected due to growth of some follicles after the HCG injection.