IVF: What to expect about procedure and outcome

IVF: What to expect about procedure and outcome

For most couples who are unable to conceive after several attempts, there are several medical procedures that can improve their chances of becoming parents. Of all these procedures, IVF is probably the most nerve-wracking as it is usually the last resort after every other option has been ruled out. If you are opting for this procedure, you need to be sure of what you are getting into before you actually do.

What exactly is IVF?

IVF is short for “In Virto Fertilization”. The eggs are fertilized in a lab using specially washed sperms. Once the eggs have been fertilized in the petri dish, the embryos are transferred to the uterus. The chances of getting pregnant depend upon the chances of these embryos attaching themselves to the uterine wall.

When should you choose this procedure?

If you are over 35 years of age and are unable to conceive in six months of trying, it is a good idea to see a fertility specialist. Your fertility specialist will be able to explain all the outcomes of different procedures. They will also act as counsellors in case the results of certain procedures were not as expected by the couple.

What happens after embryo transfer?

The hardest phase of IVF begins once the embryo has been transferred. This is when you will experience a lot of anxiety and stress. You also become more sensitive to early symptoms of pregnancy. Here are some things that you can expect after the transfer of the embryo:
  • You will be consuming several fertility medicines during the phase of ovarian stimulation. These medicines will mimic pregnancy symptoms while you are not really pregnant. This makes the two week wait period until the first pregnancy test even more stressful.
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  • You feel nauseous, tired and moody.
  • There are chances that you will miss your period.
  • Cramping and mood swings will occur during this period.
  • Your breasts will change is shape. They will begin to feel sore and heavy as well.
  • However, none of these symptoms confirm that you are actually pregnant, making this all the more frustrating for most parents.
  • You cannot rely on any home pregnancy test either. The body has a very elevated level of hormones which means that you can only confirm your pregnancy with the official test when you are ready.

Expect careful monitoring

  • When you are in this phase of pregnancy, your fertility clinic will monitor you very closely. This is a lot more in comparison to couples who have conceived naturally. After 10 weeks of the embryo transfer, once it is confirmed that all is well, you will be put under the care of an obstetrician. From this phase onwards IVF pregnancy is just like a regular pregnancy.

What is the outcome of IVF?

  • The outcome of IVF changes from one individual to the other. Each situation is unique and your fertility specialist will be able to tell you what your chances of conceiving really are. There are no true standards of “success” with IVF. Your pregnancy is confirmed using an ultrasound scan and a blood test around 6-8 weeks between each embryo transfer.
  • Unfortunately, guaranteeing live birth even with successful pregnancy is not possible with this procedure. You can study the success rate of the fertility center that you choose to determine how successful your IVF procedure might be. However, you must have realistic expectation and be prepared for this procedure to go either way.
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