What is in vitro fertilization?
Reproductive endocinologist Dr. John Jain explains what in vitro fertilization (IVF) is and describes the process. Watch Dr. Jain's video for information on reproductive health.
JOHN JAIN: So with in vitro fertilization, it really starts with a woman's period. That's when all the new eggs are ready to go.
We often keep those eggs from growing by giving birth control pills or maybe injections of a medicine called leuprolide acetate.
The point being we want to keep them all on the same starting line. Once we've achieved that over a two- or three-week period, we then enter the phase of ovarian stimulation.
This is done with hormonal injections of the hormone FSH. Daily injections for about 10 to 12 days, and four or five
visits to my office to monitor the growth of the egg follicles, to measure the estrogen level, and to make sure the woman's on the right dose.
At the end of those 10 to 12 days, we trigger the final maturation of the egg follicle with a second shot. We then take the patient to the operating room where
she undergoes IV anesthesia. That's in her veins. She's sleeping during the process. And a needle is passed through the vagina into the ovary
and directly into the egg follicle, where it suctions out the egg. The egg is immediately handed to the embryologist, who finds the egg and then injects it with sperm,
or puts the egg actually in a little petri dish with thousands of sperm. We look the next day to see if we have fertilized eggs,
now called embryos. And allow those embryos to grow anywhere from two to five days before transferring them back to the woman's uterus.
That's a painless procedure done in the office. It's like a Pap smear, where we put a soft plastic catheter directly into the uterus with the embryos.
7 to 12 days later, we find out if the woman's pregnant. [AUDIO LOGO]
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