In vitro fertilisation (IVF), which literally means “fertilisation in glass”, refers to assisted reproduction that takes place outside of the body. IVF was originally developed to treat infertility caused by blocked or damaged fallopian tubes. However, IVF is currently used to treat a variety of fertility problems that have not responded to other medical and surgical interventions.
IVF usually follows one of three general plans or ‘protocols’ to optimise follicular development. They are referred to as Long, Short or Flare cycles. The three protocols vary mainly in the timing and types of medications used in the preparation and initial stages of your IVF cycle.
Each plan is tailored to a couple’s individual circumstance and may vary in many aspects. Your doctor and nurse will guide you through your plan explaining why different approaches are taken.
You can expect:
- Medication to help ensure ovarian stimulation (this will include daily injections)
- Bloods tests and ultrasounds to monitor your progress
- Day surgery to retrieve your eggs
- A sperm sample for fertilisation
- Transfer of an embryo into the uterus
- A pregnancy blood test to indicate whether or not an embryo has implanted in the womb
Note: Your program may vary from the pathway outlined here.