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In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an infertility treatment used to address a range of infertility issues. Unfortunately, even though it is among the most successful infertility treatments, is can be challenging and financially trying as well. Therefore, knowing how IVF works for and how you should prepare for it, can really help you. 

What is IVF?

Before you move on to the treatment itself, you should know what the treatment is and how you should approach it:

  • IVF treatment for pregnancy is an infertility treatment where the eggs from a woman and the sperms from a man are fertilized in a petri dish instead of the woman's body
  • The woman's eggs are retrieved after stimulating the ovaries. In this process, hormonal medications are given to the woman to stimulate the growth of more than one egg
  • This way, several eggs are harvested and fertilised in the lab
  • The sperms are provided by the partner, or retrieved surgically (in case the infertility is due to an obstructive azoospermia because of a block in the male reproductive tract )
  • Techniques like ICSI may be used to improve the chances of fertilization
  • Once the eggs are fertilized, the best embryos are chosen and transferred to the woman's uterus
  • Usually one to two embryos are transferred for this process. Typically, the entire cycle takes about 2 weeks to complete.

Read More- Pregnancy by IVF – How is an IVF Pregnancy Different?

What to Expect?

Though IVF treatment is the most successful infertility treatment, it does not always end up in a pregnancy. This means, that even though you may put your body through a whole lot, you may still not have the child you desired. Some men and women may experience anxiety and stress as well as depression during or after the treatment cycle. It is, therefore, important to manage your expectations well during and after an IVF cycle.

Risks and Complications

As with any other medical procedure, IVF treatment for pregnancy also has some risks.

  • Since several embryos are transferred in some clinics to increase the chances of implantation, the chance of multiple pregnancies is very high. Typically, multiple pregnancies are fraught with their own complications
  • Another possible risk is that of ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHSS).

Read More- Risks and Complications of IVF


IVF treatment is not for the weak hearted. Learn more about what the treatment entails , and how you can deal with its ups and downs. When it works, it's well worth it !

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.

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