IVF is very well established in Australia – in fact, Australia is home to many of the pioneering development in its early history. Nowadays, one in 25 Australian babies are born via IVF.
What is IVF?
Although IVF is a relatively mainstream treatment these days, many people are surprised to find that in vitro fertilisation is more or less a replication of the natural human fertilisation processes – only the first step occurs outside of the body.
In the IVF process, eggs and sperm are taken from their biological environment and placed together in a contained liquid environment to allow sperm to inseminate the egg naturally. If fertilisation is successful, an embryo will form and will be inserted into the female uterus where it can grow and develop – just as it would in an unassisted pregnancy.
Is IVF for me?
Just as fertility issues are unique for every individual, so too is the decision to undergo IVF treatments. IVF is a common option for couples with infertility in Australia, and is certainly an option that may be considered by sex couples and single women who looking to start a family.
You’ll need to see a fertility specialist to fully understand your fertility and whether or not IVF is suitable for your situation.
What is the process for IVF?
Once we’ve determined your suitability for IVF, these are the key steps to expect as part of your IVF treatment…
We’ll use medication to stimulate the woman’s ovaries and help them produce eggs. This medication is self-administered through a series of injections. No need to worry though! The injections are easy to manage and my team will teach you how to do it so that you are comfortable administering these yourself.
Egg pick-up and sperm collection.
Once eggs have been produced and reach their required maturity, they are ready for collection. This egg collection process occurs during a day procedure that is sometimes known as the Egg Pick-up or Egg Retrieval. The male sperm will also be collected on the same day unless frozen sperm is being used.
“In vitro” fertilisation
Following the collection of both the eggs and sperm, they will be prepared in the lab on the same day. At Monash IVF, expert scientists mix the sperm and eggs to try and create as many embryos and possible to provide you with the best chance of a healthy embryo through the process.
If any of the eggs are successfully fertilised to form a healthy embryo, the woman will be back in the clinic in about 5 days for the embryo transfer. This procedure will place an embryo into female uterus, and any extra embryos will be frozen for future use. After this, it is usually a 2 week waiting game to see if the embryo will implant in the lining for the uterus, and a blood test will be conducted to see if there is a successful pregnancy!
Much like natural conception, the success of each IVF treatment can vary and it may take more than one try. You may find that it takes a couple of before a positive pregnancy test result comes back.
Dr Joseph Jabbour is a private fertility specialist and OBGYN, and one of the Brisbane based IVF fertility specialists that are part of the Monash IVF network. Monash IVF boast one of the highest success rates in IVF in Australia, with extensive resources to help you realise your dream of starting a family. Dr Joseph is passionate about providing high quality care and can help you understand your unique situation when it comes to fertility and assisted reproduction.