What is IVF and how does it work?


What is IVF and how does it work? 

We've got all you need to know about IVF, from the usual costs to the different stages and who is appropriate, whether you've already begun or are exploring the procedure.

What is IVF?

In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a type of assisted reproduction in which sperm and an egg are mixed in a laboratory in the hopes of producing a viable embryo.

What are the stages of IVF?

The six main steps of the IVF process are detailed on the NHS website.

• Suppressing your natural cycle — medication suppresses your menstrual cycle.

• Increasing the number of eggs produced by your ovaries - medication is used to stimulate your ovaries to create more than one egg at a time.

• Tracking your progress and maturing your eggs - an ultrasound is used to assess the eggs' development, and medicine is used to help them mature.

• Egg collection - to remove the eggs, a needle is passed via your vaginal canal and into your ovaries.

• Fertilizing the eggs - for a few days, the eggs are mingled with the sperm to allow them to be fertilized.

• Embryo transfer - 1 or 2 fertilized eggs (embryos) are implanted into your womb.

Who is suitable for IVF?

The first step is to have a conversation with your doctor about your eligibility for NHS-funded IVF. As a general rule, if you are under the age of 43 and have been trying to conceive for two years, you are usually eligible for NHS treatment.

How much does IVF cost?

Some people may be eligible for free IVF treatment on the NHS, and depending on the local health board's finances, they may be able to receive up to three rounds of IVF for free. Otherwise, IVF can cost up to £5,000 per cycle, though facilities can determine their own prices.

How successful is IVF?

The effectiveness of IVF treatments varies from patient to patient, however, the NHS has published statistics showing the percentage of IVF treatments that resulted in a live delivery in 2019.

·       Women under the age of 35 account for 32% of the population,

·       while women aged 35 to 37 account for 25%.

·       For women aged 38 to 39, the percentage is 19%.

·       For women aged 40 to 42, the rate is 11%.

·       5% for women between the ages of 43 and 44

·       4% for women over the age of 44

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