IVF Treatment

For many couples or individuals in vitro fertilization (IVF) offers the best chance of achieving a pregnancy. IVF treatment may be recommended in a range of conditions affecting fertility, including sperm abnormalities, endometriosis, tubal damage, unsuccessful ovulation induction and unexplained infertility.

During the IVF process, the sperm fertilizes the eggs in the laboratory (rather than in the woman’s fallopian tube). This process is implemented by placing the eggs from the woman together with   thousands of sperm nearly about 100,000. If the sperm profile is poor the process of fertilization is carried out by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), where a single sperm is injected into each egg. Fertilization then takes place over a number of hours in a culture dish maintained under idyllic conditions in the lab.

The fertilized embryos grow in the laboratory over two to five days, before being transferred into the woman’s uterus in a simple procedure called embryo transfer. This involves passing a very fine tube containing the embryo(s) through the cervix and into the uterine cavity. Usually one embryo at a time is transferred with additional embryos stored by freezing for use in subsequent treatments.

IVF Treatment & Procedures

The first 2 weeks of an IVF treatment cycle is called as the active phase which is completed with a number of steps. Here are the steps of IVF cycle:

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Step 1: Fertility Specialist Appointment

In this step all your medical history is reviewed, on requirement is given some tests and advice. After this you are made to understand the IVF process called as the down regulation IVF treatment cycle.

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Step 2: New Patient Appointments

 In this step all the medical and financial rules and regulations are shared and discussed with the patient and is introduced with the other members of the team like doctor, nurse and management team,

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Step 3: New patient information session with a nurse

In this session the nurse introduces the patient to the new world where you learn about the procedure and steps which include how to administer the injections and medications, and discuss the IVF process timeline with you.

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Step 4: Patient Liaison Administrator appointment

In this step, the Patient Liaison Administrator appointment is fixed, where he/she explains you the IVF treatment costs, discuss your payment options and any potential Medicare rebates.

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Step 5: Mandatory counseling session

In this step, a mandatory counselling session is arranged with both partners, to assist in bearing any issues that may arise throughout the treatment and to sign mandatory consent forms.  And prepare them psychologically and emotionally for treatment.

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Step 6: Treatment Begins

The commencement of your IVF treatment starts with the nurses who provide information on beginning the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) on day 5 of your period. The nurses will then coordinate the dates of the remainder of your IVF treatment plan.

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Step 7: Down regulation medication begins

Down regulation medication is used to suppress your natural hormones so as to control the IVF cycle. When the Follicle Stimulating Hormone is introduced and the eggs start to grow it will stop them from being released naturally. This medication is continued until the trigger injection two days prior to egg collection.

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Step 8: Hormone Stimulation

Once confirmation is done on ‘down regulation’ of hormones through tests, the ‘stimulation phase’ can begin.

The FSH injection is a synthetic hormone that stimulates development of ovarian follicles is self-administered.

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Step 9: Treatment Monitoring

 In this step, while going through IVF treatment all the important things are monitored like response to medication with blood tests and ultrasound scans, to measure the endometrial thickness, size and number of follicles on both ovaries. Based on this information your fertility specialist will determine when you are ready for egg collection.

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Step 10 : Trigger Injection

 Once you have the optimum number and size of developed follicles you are ready for the trigger injection. The role of the trigger injection is to trigger the final maturation of the eggs ready for your egg collection. The nurses advise you two days before your egg collection of the exact time that you are required to administer the trigger injection. This is usually 37 hours before egg collection.

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Step 11: Egg collection-day surgery

 The egg collection procedure – in other words the IVF egg retrieval process – is undertaken in a day surgery unit under the guidance of an anesthetic and takes around 30 minutes.  Don’t plan to work that day. The procedure is performed using an ultrasound guided probe to guide through which the fine needle passes through the vaginal wall into the ovary and draws the fluid and egg from the ovary. The tube containing the follicular fluid is then immediately passed to the Myra IVF laboratory and checked to ascertain whether it contains an egg.

On the morning of your egg collection your partner will need to provide a fresh semen (sperm) sample so as to inseminate your eggs after collection.

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Step 12: Fertilization

Following egg collection, if you are having IVF treatment the egg and sperm will be placed in a dish allowing fertilization to occur.

If you are having ICSI treatment, an embryologist will insert one single sperm directly into the egg, allowing fertilization to occur.

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Step 13 : Embryo Development

 The day after egg collection a nurse will contact you to discuss the number of eggs fertilized and advise whether you will have a cleavage (day 2/3) or blastocyst (day 5) transfer.

On day 3 of embryo development, a representative of the embryology laboratory will contact you with a further update on the embryo development.

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Step14: Embryo Transfer

In this step, the embryos are returned to the woman’s uterus called an Embryo Transfer, a simple procedure similar to a pap smear, performed by a Fertility Specialist.

No anaesthetic is usually required for the procedure, which involves a speculate being inserted into the vagina, and a narrow (2-mm diameter) soft tube called a catheter, gently passed through the opening of the cervix.

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Step 15 : Embryo Freezing

Any additional embryos that are not transferred during an IVF treatment cycle, and are suitable for freezing, can be frozen for future use.

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Step 16 : Pregnancy blood test

A pregnancy blood test will be organised for two weeks (14 days) following embryo transfer.

A blood test is the only reliable pregnancy test, as urinary pregnancy test kits can provide a false reading due to the hormone medication used in IVF treatment.

Should the pregnancy test be positive, the nurses will organise an appointment with your Fertility Specialist for an ultrasound scan normally at around 6 weeks.

 Once a positive pregnancy test is confirmed, you should be reassured that your pregnancy is medically no different to a naturally conceived pregnancy.

IVF treatment with minimal disruption

At Myra IVF your fertility specialist does all he or she can to give you the best chance of a successful pregnancy while minimizing the disruption to your everyday life. Careful research and practice have demonstrated that minimal monitoring is a safe, patient-friendly and highly effective approach to IVF treatment.

IVF treatment medication and procedures

Medications and treatment procedures of IVF treatment and their treatment cycle protocols will be prescribed by your fertility specialist.  For existing Myra IVF patients, a step-by-step guide to the different cycles, including Antagonist, Down Regulation and Flare treatment cycles, can be found in the fertility forum section of the website.