What is IVF?

Often mistakenly used as a term to broadly describe fertility treatments, IVF refers to the process where eggs (oocytes) are fertilised in a laboratory with a partners or donors sperm. If fertilised, the egg can/may divide and form an embryo.

Embryos are then grown for three to six days in a specially designed incubator before one of the resulting embryos is transferred into the woman’s uterus. Any additional good quality embryos at a suitable stage of development can be frozen for future use in a Frozen Embryo Transfer Cycle

In Western Australia, IVF and associated procedures are governed by the Human Reproductive Technology Act 1991 (HRT Act). In order to be eligible for IVF in Western Australia, there has to be medically diagnosed causes of infertility.

Why is it used?

IVF was invented in the 1970s to treat infertility caused by blocked tubes. Now, IVF can be used for:

What is involved?

The following stages are involved in an IVF treatment cycle:

  1. The first stage of the IVF treatment cycle is ovarian hyperstimulation. This is done through self-administered medication to suppress the natural hormonal cycle along with a self-administered trigger injection. Both these medications help to stimulate growth and maturation of eggs. The idea of injecting yourself can be daunting, at Concept Fertility we will guide you through the process step-by-step and are here to answer any questions. It’s also a good idea to get your partner or a support person involved.
  2. Egg development is then monitored through blood tests and ultrasound scans.
  3. The eggs are then removed in a simple day procedure called the egg collection (trans-vaginal oocyte aspiration). The procedure itself does not take more than 30-minute. After the procedure you will be taken through to our recovery area and must meet a certain criteria before discharge.
  4. On that same day, either your partner’s sperm or the donor sample is prepared in the laboratory. The eggs and sperm are then combined and cultured in the lab by our expert specialists.
  5. If the fertilisation process is successful, an egg can/may divide and form an embryo. These embryos are then grown in our purpose-designed incubators in the laboratory. We take great care in monitoring them and will grow them for a maximum of six days. In some cycles, depending on embryo numbers and quality, a day 3 transfer/freeze may be more suited to you. The decision about what is better suited for your circumstances will be made on day 2 of embryo development.
  6. Once the embryos have reached the desired stage, our embryologists will then select the most suitable embryo and transfer it into the uterus. You will also be provided with progesterone supplementation to prepare the lining of the uterus for embryo implantation. The embryo transfer is a simple process. The procedure itself only takes about five minutes and is done by one of our experienced fertility specialists.
  7. Any additional, good quality embryos can be frozen for use in future cycles.
  8. After the transfer you will have to wait 9-11 days (day 14 past ovulation) to see if you are pregnant. The waiting period can be a difficult time, if you would like some additional support, our compassionate and caring counsellors are here to help.

Our experienced team is here for you throughout the entire IVF treatment. We’re here to ensure that you understand each step of the process and have both the information and support you need. For more information on the IVF process, contact us here.

How long does IVF take?

An IVF treatment cycle begins on day 1 of your period and ends with the blood test about four weeks later. It’s important to note that it can take more than one IVF cycle to get a positive pregnancy test.

What are the risks associated with IVF procedures?

While it is perfectly normal to have some eggs that don’t fertilise, (50-70%) there is a risk that no eggs will fertilise.

Even with eggs that do fertilise, about 50% are expected to make an embryo of suitable quality for transfer or freeze. However, there is a risk that no embryo will be viable for transfer or freeze.

There is a risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation (OHSS) which is explained in Risks and Side Effects

What emotional support is available to me/us?

At Concept Fertility, we have experienced counsellors here to help you along your IVF journey. Our counsellors are there for you throughout your entire fertility treatment and will provide you with support and a listening ear.

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