An ultrasound probe with a needle is guided into the vagina. The needle is used to remove fluid from the follicles of the ovaries. This fluid contains eggs. It is placed in a dish and kept in an incubator.
A sperm sample from the woman's partner or from a donor is added to the eggs. Sperm may be injected into an egg to improve the chance of fertilization. The eggs are then monitored. Once fertilized, early cell division begins and embryos develop.
About 2 to 6 days after fertilization, a tube is inserted into the vagina and guided through the cervix and into the uterus. One or more embryos are placed into the uterus. The tube is removed.
How Long Will It Take?
Harvesting—About 30 minutes
Transfer procedure—About 10 minutes
Will It Hurt?
Pain and cramping are common for a few days after the egg harvesting and transfer. Medicine and home care can help.
Average Hospital Stay
You will be able to go home the same day.
At the Care Center
Right after the transfer, the staff may have you rest for a few hours before going home. You will also be given an appointment to return for a pregnancy test.
Some activities may be limited after the transfer.
Call Your Doctor
Call the doctor if you have:
Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
Vaginal discharge that smells bad
Pain or cramping in the belly
Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe nausea or vomiting
Any new symptoms
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
What is in vitro fertilization (IVF)? American Society for Reproductive Medicine website. Available at: https://www.reproductivefacts.org/faqs/frequently-asked-questions-about-infertility/q05-what-is-in-vitro-fertilization/. Accessed August 5, 2020.
What is IVF? The National Infertility Association website. Available at: https://resolve.org/what-are-my-options/treatment-options/what-is-ivf/. Published Summer 2012. Accessed August 5, 2020.
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