In vitro fertilization or IVF is the process of manually combining sperm with an egg in a laboratory dish for fertilization. The embryo is then transferred to the uterus. IVF is often used to treat infertility due to a decreased sperm motility or sperm count, ovulation disorders or uterine fibroids, or with individuals who suffer a genetic disorder, which results in infertility.

From stimulation to retrieval, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is a four-step process, which may be the best option for you and your partner. A consultation allows you to review all your pregnancy options and decide what next steps to take.

Starting from the time of the initial consult with the doctor, it takes about 4-6 weeks, on average, to go through the treatment process. However, a pregnancy will not usually take place until approximately 8 weeks after the first consultation. If you’re aiming for a pregnancy within a certain month, consider this timespan when planning.

Not everyone is a good candidate for IVF. Some women can get pregnant on their own or with minimal assistance. It’s best to explore all alternative options first. Prior to undergoing the IVF procedure, there are several diagnostic tests which are performed.

A semen analysis is required for the male to measure the sperm count, check how they’re shaped, and see how well they’re moving. With this analysis, the doctor can check for any abnormalities.

For the female, an egg quality assessment is performed on the third day of the menstrual cycle. During an ultrasound, the doctor will count the number eggs on each ovary and match it with the FHS level. FHS is a follicle stimulating hormone produced by the brain responsible for developing the egg every month. This will determine where a woman is in her fertility status.

The decision to undergo IVF is one that should be thoughtfully considered. After consulting with doctors and/or specialists with regards to all potential options, you and your partner should discuss the possibility of IVF in full. Research and the setting of proper expectations can help prepare a couple before undergoing the process.

Family planning takes careful consideration on several levels, but when equipped with the proper resources and an esteemed facility to help move forward in a positive direction, it’s easier to start feeling hopeful for the future.

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