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in-vitro fertilization image showing baby's tiny feet

What You Need to Know About In-Vitro Fertilization

In-vitro fertilization is a popular assisted reproductive technology that’s used widely throughout Canada and around the globe.

According to recent statistics, about 16% of Canadian couples will experience infertility. And, this number has doubled since the 1980s.

While the treatment options used to be limited for these couples, technologies like IVF have expanded in recent years. This is making it possible for couples and singles to take control of their fertility and become parents.

What Exactly Is IVF?

IVF is a medical process where egg and sperm are united outside the uterus, in a laboratory setting. Sperm fertilizes the egg outside the woman’s body, and the fertilized embryo is then implanted surgically into the uterus, where it continues to grow into a typical pregnancy.

Who Is a Good Candidate for IVF?

IVF is applicable to many people and families, but it is especially common among the following populations:

  • Women with blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
  • Families where male infertility is a factor, typically thanks to things like decreased sperm count or sperm motility
  • Women who have ovulation disorders, ovarian failure, or uterine fibroids
  • Women who have had surgery to remove their fallopian tubes
  • People who have genetic disorders
  • People struggling with unexplained infertility

What Is the IVF Process?

IVF takes several steps to complete. These are as follows:

  1. A fertility specialist provides fertility medications. These stimulate egg production and allow for easier retrieval down the road.
  2. Eggs are retrieved. This is completed with the help of a minor, outpatient, surgical procedure.
  3. Doctors collect a sperm sample. This typically comes from the male partner in a couple or a donor in the event of single parenthood.
  4. Insemination takes place. Next, the sperm and egg(s) are mixed in a laboratory setting. The egg(s) are monitored closely to ensure fertilization. Once cell division begins, an egg is considered an embryo!
  5. The embryo is implanted into the uterus. This typically takes place 3-5 days after fertilization.

How Successful Is IVF Treatment?

The success rate of IVF depends on dozens of factors, including reproductive history, maternal age, infertility causes, and lifestyle.

Seeing a highly skilled fertility specialist can help increase the chances of successful treatment. If you’re ready to learn more about IVF, contact First Steps Fertility Clinic today.