What is IVF?
What is in vitro fertilisation (IVF)?
In vitro fertilisation or IVF is the process of placing a woman’s eggs and a man’s sperm together in a petri dish for fertilisation. Once the eggs are fertilised, the embryos are placed in the woman’s uterus in an attempt to create a pregnancy. IVF is one of several reproductive technologies used to assist infertile couples conceive a child, which account for 20% of couples in Australia.
How does IVF work?
IVF is the process of fertilising eggs with a man’s sperm outside of the human body. The procedure itself is quite complex, progressing through a series of stages over a number of weeks. The stages involved in IVF include:
Stimulation of the ovaries
- During this stage, females are given hormones to stimulate the ovaries in an attempt to increase egg production.
Collection of the eggs
- In this stage, a fine needle is passed through the vaginal wall and into the ovaries. Each follicle in the ovary is pierced in order to collect its egg.
Fertilisation of the eggs
- Here, the man provides a sample of semen, the eggs and sperm are mixed in a culture dish where it will be placed in an incubator for between two to five days while the embryo begins to develop, grow and divide.
Transferal of the embryos to the uterus
- In the final stage of IVF, once the embryos have grown to a certain size, one or two will be transferred back into the woman’s uterus during an appropriate time in her menstrual cycle. This is achieved through passing a catheter through the cervix and into the uterine cavity.
Two weeks after the IVF process has been completed, and the embryo transferred, a blood test will be conducted to ensure the woman is pregnant.
Success rate of IVF
Success rates of IVF treatment vary as a result of procedure type and the woman’s age. In Australia, 90% of women aged under 35 years are successful with IVF treatment, with women aged between 35-39 experiencing a success rate of 85%, followed by a success rate of 45% for women aged between 40-44.
Dr Neil Wallman ‘Gold Coast Women’s Health and Conception Centre’
Dr Wallman is highly experienced in fertility treatments, assisting his patients, both men and women, in overcoming a range of fertility concerns. Some of the concerns that IVF can overcome include:
- Unexplained infertility
- Sperm antibodies
Dr Wallman is passionate about helping his patients conceive and begin their baby journey.