What is IVF Baby?

What Is In-Vitro Fertilization Baby?

Treatment for test-tube babies or IVF (in vitro fertilization) is the most commonly used assisted reproduction treatment (ART) technique today. Technically speaking; IVF treatment is the fertilization of the female egg cells (oocyte) by the male germ cells (sperms) (cells found in semen) outside the body under carefully prepared laboratory conditions followed by the selection of a certain number of these fertilized egg cells (embryos) and their placement into the uterus.

All IVF practices performed since 1971 formed the basis of today's IVF technique.  The modern founder of IVF treatment is Robert G. Edwards. The first "test-tube baby" is Louise Brown, who was born in England in 1978. Following this revolution in reproductive health, studies in the field of IVF have accelerated and become widespread.  The first IVF birth was accomplished at Ege University in Turkey in 1989.

Several modes of treatment have been established.

We are ready to accompany you on this path to a healthy and happy future for both you and your baby.

IVF / Microinjection Technique

Although the length of treatment may vary across the types of assisted reproduction techniques, the long protocol is the one most commonly applied. The treatment steps in the long protocol are as follows:

1. Stimulation of the Ovaries

On the 3rd day of the menstrual cycle, injection of hormonal medications are started in order to stimulate the ovaries. The aim of using such medications is to increase the chance of becoming pregnant by inducing the growth of more than one egg cell. The process of ovarian stimulation takes approximately 12 - 14 days. However, the length of the process may vary from person to person because it will be determined by the response of the ovaries to the medications. During this process, the growth of eggs is monitored closely via ultrasonography, which will be performed every 2-3 days.

In this treatment protocol, gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonists are administered as a protective measure to avoid premature follicular rupture on the 6th day of medication use. This medication is injected into the umbilical area.

2. Egg Retrieval

When the eggs become mature enough and achieve a certain size, another medication is injected to induce follicular rupture so that eggs can be retrieved. Approximately 34-36 hours after this injection, the eggs are collected. Because this procedure requires meticulous care, the timing of the injection is critical.

The Egg Retrieval Procedure: The patient is admitted to the clinic after an overnight fasting. Then, the egg retrieval is performed; which will take approximately 15-20 minutes. The procedure is painless because the patient will be anesthetized. In the IVF procedure, the eggs are retrieved via the vaginal route. Under ultrasonography guidance; a catheter (needle) with a suction device on one end is used to remove eggs out of the ovary for the egg retrieval purpose. The number of mature eggs may be around 10-12 per patient but this number may vary ranging from 1 to 40. In some patients, no eggs are retrieved although such cases occur rarely. Because patients will not need to stay at the hospital after the procedure, they can return home a few hours later.

3. Fertilization of Eggs 

The retrieved egg cells are fertilized under laboratory conditions via the classical IVF method or microinjection (ICSI) method depending on the sperm cell quality. The fertilization results in the development of the embryo, which is the cornerstone of the growth of the baby in the uterus. Fertilization is confirmed via a microscopic examination. The fertilization process takes approximately 12 to 15 hours. The patient is informed about the results of the procedure and a day will be scheduled for embryo transfer.

4. Embryo Transfer 

The transfer is performed in the following 48-72 hours or even 120 hours depending on circumstances after the retrieval of fertilized embryos (called pre-embryos or zygotes). Because the timing of the transfer will be determined based on the quality of the embryo, timing of the embryo transfer may vary. Embryos are transferred into the uterus by gently passing them through the cervix by means of a catheter, which is a thin plastic tube. The number of embryos to be transferred is 1 for the first two treatment cycles in patients under the age of 35 years and at most 2 in all other patients. Because the procedure is simple and painless, the patient will be discharged from the clinic soon. A hormone that we call progesterone is administered vaginally or as an injection to the patient until the pregnancy test that will be performed approximately two weeks later. When the pregnancy test is positive, ultrasonography is performed to see the gestational sac 10 days after the pregnancy test.

5. Pregnancy Test

A pregnancy test is performed 12 days after the transfer procedure. Pregnancy test results inform about whether a pregnancy is established. The pregnancy test is the assessment of beta HCG test levels; which does not require overnight fasting.

An ultrasound examination is performed 10 days after the pregnancy test yields a positive result indicating the establishment of the pregnancy. Our patients coming out of town or abroad can undergo necessary examinations; where they reside, provided that they inform us.

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