In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a highly successful and popular treatment that is used to treat different infertility issues. Despite the fact that it is so successful, the simple fact is that it is still extremely challenging and it can be very expensive as well. This makes it very important for you to have a very clear understanding about what it entails. This will help you prepare yourself emotionally as well as financially, before you actually take the dive. Here are some infertility basics:

About IVF

Before you actually move on to the treatment itself, it’s crucial that you understand all the basics of the treatment and the manner in which it should be approached.

  • IVF treatment for pregnancy is the infertility treatment wherein a woman’s eggs and a man’s sperm are fertilized in a laboratory setting, instead of in the woman’s body.
  • The woman’s ovaries are stimulated to produce a larger number of eggs. She is given hormonal injections to stimulate the growth of eggs and the process is known as superovulation.
  • This gives the doctor the chance to harvest several eggs which are then fertilized in the lab.
  • The male partner provides the sperm
  • In cases of male infertility that is caused by obstructive azoospermia (blocking of the male reproductive tract), his sperm will be surgically retrieved
  • In some cases techniques such as ICSI might be used to improve the chances  of fertilization

After the fertilization has taken place, only the best embryos are selected. These will then be transferred into the woman’s uterus. Typically, at the Malpani Infertility Clinic, we transfer no more than 1 or 2 embryos. This entire process which is called an IVF cycle takes around 2 weeks to be completed.

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

Things to Expect

The important thing to keep in view is that though IVF treatment is the most successful infertility treatment available today, it doesn’t guarantee a pregnancy. It simply means that even after going through all the effort pain, emotional ups and downs, and of course, the expense, the treatment may not be a success and you may not have the child you want so much. During as well as after this treatment, some women and men experience stress, anxiety and depression. Therefore, it is important to have realistic expectations of the treatment during and post the IVF treatment.

Risks & Complications

Just as with any other medical procedure, IVF too has certain risks.  Since some clinics tend to transfer several embryos in a single cycle to increase the chances of implantation, there is a greater chance of multiple pregnancies. These can be riddled with their own set of complications. Another possible risk is that of ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHSS).

Read MoreRisks and Complications of IVF


IVF treatment isn’t something that a weak hearted patient would be able to see through to the end. Learning more about what it entails and understanding how to deal with the ups and downs will help you deal with it, in a much better way. When it works, its well worth all the stress and agony.

Not happy with the attention you are getting from your IVF clinic? Need more information? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you!

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

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