Steps of the IVF Cycle and the IVF Cost
Despite its growing success, you might still be wondering “what does IVF stand for?” if you never encountered fertility issues personally in the past. IVF is the acronym for In Vitro Fertilization. According to the process, female eggs are retrieved and then the eggs are fertilized in a lab with sperm of the father / donor. As the eggs are fertilized, embryos are created and these embryos are transferred to the uterus of the female six days after retrieval.
Basic Screening and Testing
- Before giving the injections, the female is tested for the ovarian reserve.
- For this purpose, AMH blood testing, antral follicle counts and day 3 FSH are performed.
- With these tests, the medical team can predict how the ovaries are going to respond to the drugs given to the female.
- The more eggs that are retrieved, the higher the IVF success rates
The first step is for the female to begin injections of medication to develop multiple follicles within the ovaries. Each of the follicles contain microscopic eggs. With the help of the injections, follicles are stimulated, eggs are grown and development takes place in 8 to 10 days. A series of blood tests and ultrasounds are done after every 1 to 3 days for monitoring the development of follicles within the ovaries. The minimum number of follicles that are required for making the eggs mature so that the retrieved starts are 3.
When a sufficient number of follicles are mature, a transvaginal ultrasound is performed and the egg retrial procedure is then performed for removing eggs from the follicles. On average, it just takes 10 to 15 minutes for the eggs to be retrieved. Before performing the retrieval, aesthetic medication is given to the female so that she is comfortable and unable to feel the procedure happening.
Fertilization and embryo transfer
After the eggs are retrieved, they are fertilized in the lab with the sperm of the partner of the woman. Remember that the sperm must also be good quality to make a baby too. If sperm is of poor quality, then for the purpose of fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) procedure might be used. This is really just the medical term for “injecting the sperm into the egg.” The culturing time of the embryo is 2 to 5 days. The embryo is transferred into the uterus of the woman where it develops into a fetus. There won’t be any discomfort for the woman during this process.
In case some of the embryos are left, couples can choose to freeze them for the future cycle. Furthermore, if the initial cycle fails in the first place, then these embryos can be reused for a second attempt.
IVF Success Rates
The success rate for IVF procedures varies and it depends considerably on how carefully the program is handled. This factor is important but unfortunately, people are more concerned with knowing the answer to “what does IVF stand for” and hardly do they try to understand the concept. In that case, it is recommended to discuss the pregnancy and its success rate with your doctor before you even start the cycle.
In vitro fertilization cost
The cost of the treatment ranges from $12,000 to $15,000. If you have health insurance, you can ask your insurance company if it covers any portion of the cost. Unfortunately, it is more common that insurance companies do not cover the cost of IVF treatment but hopefully your insurance provider will surprise you. In case you want to know more about the cost of the treatment, it is important to understand that the cost sometimes varies according to the circumstance of the individual. It may also vary from one clinic to another. You can take quotes for the treatment from different providers and evaluate the quality and patient support before you go for any particular provider.
The cost of the treatment usually does not cover the fertility medications, blood work, initial tests, ultrasound, and monitoring. You are advised to confirm the expenses of the above-mentioned processes before starting the treatment. There have been cases where additional assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments are required. This will also be an addition to the cost. For example, for the ICSI procedure, you might have to spend $1,000 to $1,500. For testing the embryos, $3,000 might be required. In case you want to freeze the embryos, then it will also need additional money. As you can likely see, these miscellaneous expenses tend to add up rather quickly.
More about IVF
When you study more about the treatment to find what in vitro fertilization really is, you will learn that this treatment is not just meant for the parents who are infertile but also for the women who have damaged or blocked fallopian tubes. However, it can also be used for overcoming infertile resulting from endometriosis or low sperm count. The important thing to remember is that there are actually a number of reasons why you might be considering IVF. If you are really interested in pursuing this treatment, then I would highly recommend that you do your research (or keep reading on IVFandEggDonation.com!), learn the in vitro fertilization definition, meet with your (future) IVF medical team, and take the time to make an educated decision on whether the IVF cycle and IVF cost are truly for you and your partner.
Factors to be Considered for the IVF Treatment
After knowing what does IVF stand for, you must know that are some factors that have to be considered before undergoing the treatment. Here they are:
- Age: Women under 35 years of age will have higher IVF success rates with the treatment. After 35 years of age, the success rate does begin to decline
- Multiple Births: 62% of women give birth to single babies, 32% give birth to twins and 5% give birth to triplets.
- No Surgery Required: You won’t have to go for a surgery for the Fallopian tubes. Any of the procedures that we discussed above can be completed at your reproductive doctor’s offices without any incisions. .
- Safety: As you learn what does IVF stands for, you will find that the treatment is safe. The children that are conceived from this treatment are as healthy as a normally conceived child.
Are there any risks?
IVF is not free from risks. Parents are required to understand the risks associated with the treatment before beginning. You should not just be concerned with knowing what does IVF stand for, it is best if you thoroughly learn about the ins and outs of the treatment.
During the egg retrieval process, bleeding, infection, damage to the organs, etc. might happen. Furthermore, medications can have their side effects too. The symptoms can be mild or severe. Different women face different troubles. You might experience mild pain, bloating, cramping and even weight gain. Other side effects include short breath, swelling or pain in the abdomen.
All of this talk about risks, success rates, etc. does not mean the treatment is not good enough. Think about it: you, your partners and medical are making (what will be) an entirely new human. If you find a reliable provider of the IVF treatment and every step of the treatment is performed through intense care, then the results will be positive.