Monday, May 27th

Last updateSun, 21 Feb 2021 9am

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IVF made simple!


We in ivf, simply try to mimic nature.

All babies develop from two different cells that join together- the SPERM and the OOCYTE.
Women are born with oocytes(eggs) that are produced and developed in the ovaries. Men produce sperm each day in organs called the testes.

A couple seek help if they do not conceive a baby after one year of sexual intercourse using no birth control..

Normally, conception takes place inside a woman's body, in the FALLOPIAN TUBE.
However, when a couple has difficulty conceiving in the traditional manner, in vitro fertilization (IVF) allows for conception outside the body.

During IVF, a DOCTOR collects eggs from the woman at the time of her ovulation. The eggs are put in a petri dish (or test tube) and sperm, provided by the man, are added to them.
The next step is for the fertilized ovum to be transferred into the woman's UTERUS. If the fertilized ovum becomes implanted inside the uterus, the woman becomes pregnant..




While the very early stages of an in vitro conception take place in an unusual manner, the rest of the pregnancy, including the delivery of the baby, can be expected to take place normally.

Even though conceived differently than most, the baby doesn't look any different and, in fact, is no different from other babies.

The very first IVF baby was born in 1978. Since then, IVF has become a quickly growing field of medicine, showing how medicine and technology join together to overcome an obstacle of nature.

A challenge has been set by an English reader of Kosmogonia to simply explain the IVF protocol. So, here goes….
In the menstrual cycle a single egg develops day by day, the womb lining (endometrium) thickens in preparation for the fertilized egg to implant (or not ?).

In the middle of the cycle the egg is released (ovulation), hopefully the egg is fertilized by a sperm and the level of the hormone progesterone increases to help the fertilized egg (embryo) to implant and develop.

So, that’s what we mimic in IVF but on a larger scale.

We can’t have your hormones running amok so we suppress them before starting. We use a Suppression drug.

We stimulate the ovaries to produce more than one egg for better success. We use a stimulation drug.

We time the egg pick-up ( like ovulation in nature) precisely so we use an HCG drug to mature the eggs before being collected by the doctor.

To help implantation we use a progesterone drug.

Step by step:


Suppression drug-taken every day until the HCG injection

Stimulation drug-when the ovaries are suppressed (determined by a ultrasound scan and blood hormone test) the stimulation drug is taken every day until the HCG injection.
HCG injection-usually given around midnight, taken only once to mature the eggs for egg pick up some 36 hours later

e.g Monday night HCG injection, no more suppression or stimulation drugs! Wednesday morning egg pick up.

Progesterone is given by most doctors around the time of egg pick-up and continued at least until the pregnancy test.


Menstrual cycle vs IVF cycle:
Start of menstrual cycle = Start of stimulation
Egg grows in size = Eggs grow in size- scans & blood tests
Ovulation trigger = HCG injection
Mid-cycle-Ovulation = Egg pick-up ~12-14 day of stimulation
Fertilization/implantation = IVF/embryo transfer- progesterone taken
Two weeks later..late period- pregnancy test = Two weeks later - pregnancy test

New innovations!
The pill, Brazil nuts, drinking milk and baby aspirin are all doctors own concoctions which they believe give better chances of success. These may work for one doctor and not for another so don’t go crazy surfing the net for new innovations-follow strictly what your doctor says!


Phases of the menstrual cycle:


Phases of an IVF cycle

Drug names differ from pharmaceutical companies to another and from country to country so …Ask you doctor what each drug does to understand your treatment better!