IVF Treatment

What is IVF Treatment?

In vitro fertilization, in its short and simple form, is the fertilization process of female and male reproductive cells, namely the egg and sperm, in extracorporeal conditions, such as the laboratory environment. The first baby born as a result of the IVF procedure came to the world in 1978 in England. IVF is an assisted reproductive treatment applied to expectant mothers who cannot conceive normally. It is based on the principle of transferring the embryos formed as a result of combining the sperm taken from the male and the egg taken from the woman in the laboratory environment to the uterus.

Why is IVF preferred in the first place ?
Although IVF application has many assisted reproductive treatments, it is generally the most preferred type of treatment. The reason for this is that it is a form of treatment with the highest chance of pregnancy. First of all, IVF treatment has started to be applied to expectant mothers who have permanent damage to their tubes as a result of infection or surgical operations. Later, it was started to be used in the treatment of other factors that could cause infertility. Successful results can be obtained by applying the IVF treatment method for infertility of unknown cause or male infertility.

Microinjection application
The microinjection method, which has only been applied in recent years, has made a great impact in the treatment of future fathers who do not have any sperm or have very low sperm count in their semen and has been declared as a revolutionary treatment. This treatment can be applied on cases such as closed tubes in women, low sperm count, movement or no sperm count, unknown infertility causes, severe endometriosis. The duration of IVF treatment may vary depending on the type of treatment deemed appropriate. The method called long protocol is the most commonly used treatment method.

How is IVF treatment applied?

There are 5 stages of IVF treatment. The first of the IVF stages is pre-treatment interview and finding the most appropriate treatment method.
In candidates for whom IVF treatment is considered, the treatment is started on the 2nd or 3rd day of the period of the expectant mother. Ultrasound is applied on the starting day. The reason for this is to determine whether there is a problem in the ovaries and uterus that will prevent the treatment.
FSH and estrogen levels are evaluated in the blood of the expectant mother. If there is no obstacle to start the treatment; the most appropriate treatment method is decided taking into account of the age of the expectant mother, the reason for infertility, blood test results and ovarian capacity. Subsequently, hormone therapy is started in order to achieve egg formation for in vitro fertilization. This period is called controlled ovarian stimulation. During this period, ultrasound is applied at certain times to examine the response to treatment and egg development, and blood hormone evaluation is performed.

Stimulation of the Ovaries
Hormone-containing drugs are started in the form of needles. The reason for this is to stimulate the ovaries on the 3rd day of the new menstrual period. These drugs are applied to ensure the development of more than one egg cell from the ovaries. This increases the probability of pregnancy. The duration of stimulation of the ovaries varies from patient to patient. The response of the ovaries to the drug determines the length of this process. Usually this length varies between 10-12 days. Egg development is monitored every two days in this period with the help of hormones and ultrasound.

Egg Collection
After the egg cells reach a certain maturity and size, a hormonal needle is used to help crack the eggs. An egg collection operation is performed 34-36 hours after the needle is applied. This injection should definitely be done on time. Egg collection is applied by transvaginal ultrasonography under a state called sedation anesthesia. The reason for this is to prevent the patient from feeling pain. The patient is taken on an empty stomach in the morning. The process takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
During this operation, the fluid inside the follicles is collected. The eggs are collected by evaluating whether there is any egg in the liquid. In the first procedure, the egg may not be found in the follicle fluid. In these cases, the inside of the follicle is washed with the help of a special liquid and the eggs that may have remained in the follicle are searched. While the number of eggs per patient can reach to 10-12, this number may increase from 1 to 40. In very rare cases, there is a possibility that no eggs may be collected. After this procedure, the patient is followed for one or two hours, then sent home. The next step is to select the ideal ones among the collected eggs, fertilize them and transfer them into the uterus.

Fertilization of the Eggs (Fertilization)
After selecting good and fertile eggs called MII oocytes obtained by egg collection process, sperm cell quality is checked and fertilized in the laboratory environment by means of classical IVF or microinjection. In some cases, it may be more beneficial to use microinjection method in order to increase the possibility of fertilization. The sperm cell fertilizes the egg cell and thus EMBRYO occurs. In a special culture medium, fertilized eggs are monitored until they can be transferred to the expectant mother's uterus. A good and high quality embryo is extracted and transferred into the uterus.

Embryo Transfer
The transfer of embryos from the laboratory environment to the uterus of the expectant mother is called embryo transfer. This stage is a painless procedure that does not require anesthesia. Transfer is usually performed in 48-72 hours after egg collection and in some cases 120 hours. The state of the transfer is decided upon the number and quality of embryos. Before the transfer, the cervix is cleaned with the help of special fluids. The transfer into the uterus is applied by passing through the cervix with the help of a thin catheter. After this application, the embryos left into the uterus are expected to continue to develop on their own and attach to the uterus.
The number of embryos to be transferred is decided with the gynecologist before the transfer. At the end of the procedure, you can head back to your home or city after an half-hour rest. Those who want to rest are transferred back to their hotels, and then transferred to the airport for departure when they feel ready.
12 days after the transfer day, you can learn the pregnancy result by doing a blood test in your own city. We do not recommend having sexual intercourse until you have the pregnancy test. If there are fertilized embryos of good quality remaining after the transfer, we store it by freezing.

  • Op.Dr. Zeynep Taşargöl
    Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialist

    You can send me your questions and comments about IVF Treatment via this field. The answers provided are advisory. You need to be examined by your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.