In Vitro Fertilization

The Ultimate Guide to In Vitro Fertilization

IVF (In vitro fertilization) is one form of assisted reproductive technology (ART) which involves combining eggs and sperm outside the body in a laboratory, and if an embryo forms, placing it into the uterus. Modified versions of IVF include GIFT (Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer) and ZIFT (Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer).

It is a complex process, the success of which depends on a number of factors, including age, cause of fertility, lifestyle and reproductive history. Traveling abroad does not make the process any riskier than at home, and it can even be said that being on ‘holiday mode’ can actually help.

Is In Vitro Fertilization for me?

IVF isn’t usually the first step in infertility treatment, but is usually undertaken when other methods, including artificial insemination, fertility drugs and surgery, haven’t worked.

It can be used if you are affected by the following conditions:

  • Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
  • Ovulation problems
  • Endometriosis
  • Male infertility problems, including low sperm count, or sperm motility
  • Antibody problems that harm sperm or eggs
  • Fertility problems that are unexplained

What is involved in the procedure for IVF?

Whether you have IVF treatment at home, or abroad, there are five basic steps in the IVF treatment and process:

1: Stimulate and examine the development of eggs in the ovaries

Egg production is stimulated with medication – multiple eggs are desired as not all will fertilize or develop. Hormone levels are checked with blood tests and ultrasound is used to examine the ovaries for signs of egg production.

2: Egg collection

A minor surgical procedure that uses a hollow needle guided through the pelvic cavity is used to collect the eggs.

3: Sperm collection

The male produces a sperm sample

4: In the laboratory, combine sperm and eggs, and provide environment for fertilization

The process of combining the eggs and sperm is called insemination. After this the combined eggs and sperm are stored in the right laboratory conditions to encourage fertilization. The eggs are monitored closely for signs of cell division. If this is confirmed, fertilization is deemed to have taken plane and the eggs, now called embryos, can be transferred to the uterus.

5: Transfer successful embryos to uterus

Viable eggs are transferred 3 – 5 days after fertilization using a painless procedure. Implantation occurs between 6 and 10 days following egg retrieval if the procedure is successful.

How long does each IVF procedure take:

It is recommended that you spend between 7 and 10 days at your destination abroad.

Are there any side-effects or risks with IVF I should know about?

It is important you discuss any pre-existing medical conditions with your doctor before your treatment begins, and that you are fully aware of any potential side-effects and risks.

Multiple Births

This is the single, greatest risk of fertility treatment and, with your doctor, you should decide on how many embryos to transfer in your treatment.

Drug Reactions

Adverse reactions to fertility drugs are usually mild, but may include headaches, irritability, hot flashes, feeling low and restlessness.

Ectopic Pregnancy

This is when am embryo develops in the fallopian tube rather than the womb. It can cause vaginal bleeding and miscarriage. Scans and hormone tests are used to detect ectopic pregnancies but if you suffer stomach pain or vaginal bleeding, alert your doctor immediately.

Ovarian hyper-stimulation Syndrome (OHSS)

This can be a severe reaction to fertility drugs, causing stomach pain, swelling, nausea and vomiting. You should contact your doctor immediately should you experience these symptoms.

What is the quality of IVF treatment abroad?

Western clinics do not have a monopoly on qualified doctors, skilled personnel and first-class facilities! If you do a little homework you will find outstanding quality clinics across the globe, in places where the cost of living is considerably cheaper, which makes your treatment cost less.

Even in your home country there are good and not-so-good doctors, and going abroad is no different.

This is why at Medical Departures we do background checks on our doctors and clinics, verifying qualifications, professional memberships and affiliations and obtaining reviews from previous patients. Taken together, all this information gives us (and you) a fairly good idea whether a doctor is reliable and trustworthy.

If you need any further information about IVF abroad, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, and to book with us for quality-checked doctors, and guaranteed best prices.

How much is IVF treatment overseas?

It is difficult to put an absolute price on IVF treatment as there are so many variables. However, most people find they make savings of around 50% by traveling abroad, compared with the costs at home.