When trying to conceive naturally for a year or more has failed, a doctor will recommend a visit to a fertility specialist for assistance. Many will refer their patients to attempt in vitro fertilization (IVF).
The First Steps for IVF--Bloodwork
Your doctor will want to do blood work to check your hormone levels and make sure you are free of HIV and hepatitis. Once the results of these tests are obtained, the IVF cycle can begin.
Many clinics will have you begin injecting a drug like Lupron during the cycle before IVF. These injections suppress the ovaries to prevent them from ovulating early.
Once your period begins, you will have an ultrasound and more blood work. You will then begin a second set of daily injections to stimulate the ovaries. You will administer both medications until egg retrieval two weeks later.
Egg Retrieval and Transfer
The night before retrieval is scheduled you will administer an injection of hCG, which will cause you to ovulate. After the eggs are retrieved, they will be fertilized and transferred back to your uterus as embryos a few days later.
Progresterone Support and Pregnancy Testing
After egg transfer, it is necessary to take progesterone until pregnancy is confirmed. From start to finish, one IVF cycle takes four to six weeks.
- Photo Credit Paul Sapiano
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