IVF (In Vitro Fertilization): Overview, Process, Risk, And Need

Divya Tripathi

, Health A2Z

IVF, also known as in vitro fertilization, is a method used to help a woman to get pregnant. It is when a human egg is fertilized with sperm in a laboratory.


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Biologically, an egg and sperm are fertilized inside a woman’s womb. When the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the womb then it starts growing, and a baby born after around 9 months. It is a complete process of natural conception or unassisted conception.


IVF or in vitro fertilization is a kind of ART (assisted reproductive technology). It is a special medical method which is used to help make a woman become pregnant. It is an expensive technique so usually, it tried when other less expensive fertility methods have failed.


What is the IVF process?


During this process, human eggs are taken out from the woman ovaries and fertilized into a laboratory with the male sperm, it can be provided by her partner or a donor.


One or two embryos of fertilized eggs are implanted into the woman’s uterus or the womb.

These are the typical stages in an IVF cycle:



  • A woman’s natural period cycle is closed with routine injections or a nasal spray.


  • The woman gets fertility hormones injections to stimulate her ovaries, which tends to produce several eggs, instead of just one.


  • Mature eggs are collected using a fine needle, with the help of ultrasound, and under light sedation.


  • The matured eggs and sperm are fertilized in the laboratory.


  • Fertilized eggs which are medically known as embryos are grown in an incubator for some days.


  • Either one or two healthy embryos are transferred into the woman’s uterus by the insertion of a tube through the vagina and cervix.


  • If embryo implantation is successful, then the woman becomes pregnant. The pregnancy confirms after two weeks with a pregnancy test.


  • If any embryos left then it can be stored for later use if needed.


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What are the Associated Risks of IVF?


Specific steps of an in vitro fertilization cycle carry the following risks, including:


Multiple births.


It increases the risk of multiple births because it is preferred to implant more than one embryo is in the uterus.


Premature Delivery and Low Birth Weight.


Research says that IVF slightly increases the risk of low birth weight babies.




The rate of miscarriage increases with maternal age, which depends on the frozen embryos during the procedure.


Egg-Retrieval Procedure Complications.


Use of a needle for the collection of eggs can cause bleeding, damage or infection to the bowel, blood vessel or a bladder.


Ectopic Pregnancy


Around 2 to 5 percent of women with IVF will have the risk of an ectopic pregnancy.


Birth Defects.


The age of the mother is the most common factor of birth defects in a newborn baby.




IVF can be physical, emotional, or financial draining. So, ask for support from family, and friends for this period of time.


What is Need of IVF?


In vitro fertilization is a treatment for infertility problems. IVF is offered for infertility in women over age 40. IVF can also be considered as a first treatment if you have certain health issues. Like, IVF can be an option if you or your partner has:


Fallopian Tube Damage or Blockage. If Fallopian tube is damaged or blocked completely that makes difficult to fertilize an egg.


Ovulation Disorders. If ovulation is absent or infrequent, fewer eggs are available for fertilization.


Premature Ovarian Failure. It is the loss of ovarian function before the age.


Endometriosis. It often affects the process of the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.


Uterine Fibroids. Fibroids are the tumors in the wall of the uterus and it is very common in women at 30s and 40s. It can affect the implantation of the fertilized egg.


Impaired Sperm Production or Function. Poor mobility or abnormalities in sperm size and shape can make difficult for sperm to fertilize an egg.


Unexplained Infertility. It means that there is no cause found for infertility despite evaluation for common causes.


A Genetic Disorder. If you or your partner have some genetic problem disorder to your child you may be candidates for preimplantation genetic diagnosis.




IVF is the process to get pregnant with the help of technology, it is a kind of boon for the women who have an infertility problem. The above information will help you if you are planning for in vitro fertilization treatment. If You want more information about the same then you can consult with your gynecologist, she will help you to take a decision according to your medical condition.


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