In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

What is IVF and how does it work ?

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) literally means 'fertilisation in glass' giving us the familiar term 'test tube baby'.

Since the birth of world's first test tube baby by in vitro fertilization, it has given relief to many couples who are unable to conceive. The first IVF baby was born in UK in the year 1978. Within three months, Kolkata based doctor announced birth of the second IVF baby in the world (and obviously the first IVF in India). Thus IVF in India has a come a long way and the techniques have increasingly improved, elevating the status of IVF in India on the world stage.

During the IVF process, eggs are removed from the ovaries and fertilised with spermin the laboratory. The fertilised egg (embryo) is later placed in the woman's womb.

Is IVF for me?

A clinic may recommend IVF as your best treatment option if:

  • You have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility
  • Your fallopian tubes are blocked
  • You have been unsuccessful with other techniques like using fertility drugs or intrauterine insemination (IUI)
  • there is a minor degree of male subfertility - more severe problems are treated with intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

IVF treatment cost in India

IVF treatment cost in India is amongst the most cost effective in the world. There are a number of destinations all over the world where medical tourism has increased options for the interested individuals. Amongst all these nations providing medical tourism and IVF treatment in particular, IVF treatment cost in India is amongst the least you can pay anywhere. But even if IVF cost in India is that cheap, couples interested in finding an IVF clinic in India, should first study all the available options. Any IVF clinic in India can claim to be the best, but you should verify their credentials, have a look at the facilities, inquire about their record and discuss all the required information.

How does IVF work?

IVF techniques can differ from clinic to clinic, often depending on your individual circumstances. A typical treatment may involve:

For women:

Step 1 : Treatment is given as on oral contraceptive pill which continues for about 2 weeks.

As a first step you may be given a drug to suppress your natural cycle.

Treatment is given either as a daily injection (which is normally self-administered unless you are not able to do this yourself) or a nasal spray. This continues for about two weeks.

Step 2. Boosting the egg supply

After the natural cycle is suppressed you are given a fertility hormone called FSH (or Follicle Stimulating Hormone). This is usually taken as a daily injection for around 12 days.

This hormone will increase the number of eggs you produce - meaning that more eggs can be fertilised. With more fertilised eggs, there is a greater choice of embryos to use in your treatment.

Step 3. checking on the progress by monitoring

Throughout the drug treatment, the clinic will monitor your progress. This is done by vaginal ultrasound scans and, possibly, blood tests.

34-38 hours before your eggs are due to be collected you have a hormone injection to help your eggs mature.

Step 4. collecting the eggs(Ovum pick up)

Eggs are usually collected by ultrasound guidance under sedation. This involves a needle being inserted into the scanning probe and into each ovary.

The eggs are, in turn, collected through the needle.

Cramping and a small amount of vaginal bleeding can occur after the procedure.

Step 5. Fertilising the eggs

Your eggs are mixed with your partner's or the donor's sperm and cultured in the laboratory for 16-20 hours. They are then checked to see if any have fertilised.

Those that have been fertilised (now called embryos) are grown in the laboratory incubator for another one - two days before being checked again. The best one or two embryos will then be chosen for transfer.

Step 6. Embryo transfer

The number of embryos is restricted because of the risks associated with multiple births. Remaining embryos may be frozen for future IVF attempts, if they are suitable.

Step 7. Other treatments

Blastocyst transfer, where the fertilised eggs are left to mature for five to six days and then transferred.

For Men:

Step 1. Collecting sperm

Around the time your partner's eggs are collected, you are asked to produce a fresh sample of sperm.

This is stored for a short time before the sperm are washed and spun at a high speed. This is so the healthiest and most active sperm can be selected.

If you are using donated sperm, it is removed from frozen storage, thawed and prepared in the same way.