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In Vitro Fertilization


What is IVF?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process by which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body: in-vitro. IVF is a major treatment for infertility when other methods of assisted technology have failed.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) literally means ‘fertilization in glass’ giving us the familiar term ‘test tube baby’.

IVF is a form of assisted reproductive technology (ART). This means special medical techniques are used to help a woman become pregnant. It is most often tried when other, less expensive fertility techniques have failed.

About the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Process

During IVF, mature eggs are collected (retrieved) from your ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. Then the fertilized egg (embryo) or eggs are implanted in your uterus. One cycle of IVF takes about two weeks.

IVF is the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology. The procedure can be done using your own eggs and your partner’s sperm or IVF may involve eggs, sperm or embryos from a known or anonymous donor. In some cases, a gestational carrier — a woman who has an embryo implanted in her uterus — might be used.

There are five basic steps to IVF:

Step 1: Stimulation, also called super ovulation
Step 2: Egg retrieval
Step 3: Insemination and Fertilization
Step 4: Embryo culture
Step 5: Embryo transfer

Occasionally, IVF is offered as a primary treatment for infertility in women over age 40. IVF can also be done if you have certain health conditions. For example, IVF may be an option if you or your partner has:

  • Fallopian tube damage or blockage. 
  •  Ovulation disorders
  • Premature ovarian failure 
  •  Endometriosis
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Previous tubal sterilization or removal
  • Impaired sperm production or
  • Unexplained infertility
  • For avoiding genetic deformities and many such conditions.


Dr. Bharati Dhorepatil
DNB, DGO Dip in Endoscopy (Germany)