Understanding 5 Stages Of IVF Treatment – Procedure Explained!

Understanding 5 Stages Of IVF Treatment

You must have noticed how fast the fertility centers in our countries are growing and developing. But, have you ever thought about why is the demand for fertility centers increasing every day in the US? Infertility is a distressing condition that should be addressed no matter how hesitant you are. The number of infertility cases has been increasing every day and currently, it is considered to be a common condition in the United States. After recognizing the significance of infertility, the World Health Organization has termed it a major global health condition.

According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), women aged between 30-45 are more likely to be diagnosed with infertility. When it comes to men, their sperm count decreases after the age of 40. But this is only an age factor. There are several other factors that cause infertility in both genders and sometimes the reason is unknown, which is even worse. Starting from medications, there are various ways by which the condition is treated, However, one of the most commonly accepted treatment methods for infertility is IVF (In Vitro Fertilization).

In this article, we are going to discuss the 5 stages of IVF treatment. But before that, do you not want to learn more about IVF? So scroll down.

What Is IVF? 

IVF is a medical procedure where an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the human body. Among the series of treatment methods made available to treat infertility, IVF is the most common and advanced type of assisted reproductive technology. During the procedure, a patient is supposed to take prescribed medications to prepare them for minor surgical intervention. The surgery is conducted to place the fertilized egg back into the womb of the mother. It is safe and in most cases, patients get the desired results.


However, IVF is only ideal for infertility caused by the following conditions:

◼ Ovulation problems
◼ Ovarian aging
◼ Endometriosis
◼ Fallopian tube damage or blockage
◼ Male infertility caused by vasectomy

In these cases, the health of the egg and sperm released are not compromised, but the passage or the ovulation cycle is affected. Nevertheless, IVF may not be recommended by your doctors before they let you take ovulation medications. In some cases, fertility experts even recommended intrauterine insemination or other surgeries to treat the condition. In short, the treatment is chosen based on the underlying cause of infertility.

In case you are recommended IVF, you should know that it will take nearly 2 months for the procedure to complete properly. Although the success rate of IVF is more than 50%, a positive outcome can only be expected in women aged less than 35. Women above the age of 35 might show the results, but it is rare.

5 Stages Of IVF 

IVF procedure includes 5 major stages and none of them can be replaced or removed completely. The 5 stages of IVF include:

  1. Ovarian Stimulation: Normally, women produce one egg in a month, but when they are being prepared for IVF, they are supposed to release multiple eggs a month. Therefore, the doctor either provides hormones in injectable form or medication to enhance egg production in females. When it is the medications, it might not necessarily be one. You will have to take several medicines which are meant to perform different functions in your body including ovarian follicle stimulation, and maturation of eggs. After the ovarian stimulation, a vaginal ultrasound is performed to check whether the follicle has acquired adequate size.
  1. Egg Retrieval: Egg retrieval is the second stage of IVF where the matured eggs are collected. The timing of the process is crucial as if it is delayed, it might cause loss of some or all eggs.
  2. When the eggs are failed to be retrieved, the entire procedure will end up in vain.
  3. To retrieve the eggs, the surgeon will offer intravenous sedation and carefully insert a transvaginal ultrasound-guided needle, and collects eggs from each follicle. This process might only require 20-30 minutes. The retrieved eggs are put in a culture medium. However, you will be prescribed relief medication after the surgery as there will b minor cramping in the abdomen region after the surgery.
  1. Sperm Collection: Whether you are using a donor’s sperm or your partner’s, the sample is collected hours before the surgical intervention. In some cases, sperm are harvested and frozen to keep them active.
  1. Fertilization And Embryo Development: There are two common fertilization methods used in IVF procedures such as conventional insemination and intracytoplasmic sperm injection. While the former mixes egg and sperm in a petri dish to see if they get fertilized overnight, the latter involves an injection where sperm is injected into each egg. The latter is mainly recommended to overcome male factor infertility. Apparently, it takes 20 hours to confirm whether or not fertilization has occurred. Once the egg is fertilized, it is kept in the lab for the next few days to ensure the development of the embryo.
  1. Embryo Transfer: Even after the retrieval of eggs, you are supposed to take the hormone mediations to ensure the capability of your uterus to hold the fetus and also to support, the endometrium, the uterine lining. So, once the egg is fertilized, the embryo is carefully injected into your uterus using a flexible tube under ultrasound guidance. In case a few other viable embryos were formed in the process, they are frozen to use in the upcoming pregnancy attempts.

Days after the completion of these 5 procedures, a blood test is taken to see if you are pregnant.

It doesn’t end there, you are again supposed to make visits to your doctor to check the development of the embryo and to detect any possible complications.

Read More:- IVF Cycle: A Step-By-Step Guide On This Complex Procedure!


IVF has a good success rate when compared to other infertility treatment methods. However, results cannot be guaranteed as it is completely dependent on the intensity of your condition as well as the underlying cause of infertility. However, chances are that you will either test positive for pregnancy the same day of the surgery, or you will have to wait a couple more days to get that piece of good news. However, make sure to be optimistic throughout your journey.

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