What is In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)? Preparation, Procedure, and Complications

FlyToTreat/Articles/ What is In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)? Preparation, Procedure, and Complications


Having babies and growing a family can be one of the most common dreams of human beings. Unfortunately, pregnancy cannot occur naturally for some couples. For this aim, they may need to go through fertility treatments and use medications. Yet, they may not get the desired result and may have to undergo assisted reproductive technologies (ART).
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common form of assisted reproductive technology that has helped many people get the desired result and have a baby. In this article, we are going to get familiar with IVF preparation, IVF procedures, and probable IVF complications.

What is IVF?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that has done extensive assistance to infertile couples. When it comes to treating infertility, IVF is not the first option except when there is a case of complete tubal blockage. IVF is done when other methods of treatment like drugs, surgery, and artificial insemination have not been helpful.

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Why is IVF Performed?

In vitro fertilization or IVF helps couples suffering from infertility to have a baby and expand their family. In some cases, going through IVF seems to be necessary including:

  • Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
  • Low fertility of women over 40
  • Low ovarian function
  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine fibroids 
  • Male infertility like low sperm count or low motility
  • History of genetic disorders in the previous children
  • Unexplained infertility
  • sex selection


IVF Preparation


Before starting IVF, women must undergo ovarian reserve testing through a blood test by checking the level of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). The results of this test show the size and quality of your eggs. Your doctor may use ultrasound to create an image of your uterus and fallopian tubes or they can use a scope to be inserted into your uterus through the vagina. These tests can reveal the uterus condition and help the doctor determine the best treatment.
Men also need to have sperm testing to analyze the sperm number, its shape, and motility. If the sperm are damaged and have low motility, another procedure named intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may also be used along with IVF. In the ICSI procedure, the sperm is directly injected into the egg to fertilize it. 

The IVF Procedure


IVF procedure involves the following steps:

  • Ovaries stimulation
  • Egg retrieval
  • Insemination
  • Embryo culture
  • Embryo transfer


Ovaries stimulation: Women’s ovaries normally produce one egg on each menstrual cycle. However, the IVF procedure requires multiple eggs to increase the chances of viable embryo development. For this aim, you will be given fertility drugs and injections to stimulate ovary egg production. During this procedure, you should give regular blood tests and ultrasounds so that your doctor monitors the egg production and chooses the right time for retrieving the eggs. 
Egg retrieval: egg retrieval or follicular puncture is a surgical procedure performed by light anaesthesia.  In this step, your doctor uses an ultrasound wand to guide a needle through the vagina to reach the ovaries. Then the needle will suction the eggs out of each follicle. 
Insemination: after retrieving the eggs, the male partner needs to give a semen sample. Then the sample may be washed to enhance its quality. In the laboratory environment, the embryologist will make the gametes be fertilized in a petri dish. 
Embryo culture: for a couple of days the fertilized eggs should be monitored to ensure they are developing well. If it is needed, genetic tests and sex selection will be done on the embryos at this time. 
Embryo transfer: 3 to 5 days after the insemination, when the embryos are big enough and ready, they can be transferred into the uterus. Implantation happens by using a thin tube called a catheter. Via the catheter, the embryo is transferred through the vagina and gets into the uterus. Then the embryo should implant and stick to the uterine wall. After two weeks, if the result of the pregnancy test is positive, it means that the pregnancy successfully occurred. 

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Important Factors Affecting the Health of IVF Babies


The chances of having a healthy baby through an IVF procedure depend on some factors, including:

  • Maternal age: in the IVF procedure, the younger the mother is, the less problem she has conceiving and giving birth to a healthy baby. Women over 40 are usually advised to consider donor eggs to increase the chances of IVF success. 
  • Embryo status: before the embryologist transfers the embryos to the woman’s uterus, they should check their qualities to see which one is more developed. The more developed the embryo, the higher the pregnancy success rate.
  • Reproductive background: the success rate for women who experienced previous pregnancy is higher. IVF success rate is lower among those women who have a history of multiple failed IVF cycles. 
  • Cause of infertility: infertility can happen because of various reasons, therefore the chances of IVF success can differ by each case. For instance, women who have severe endometriosis are less likely to have a successful pregnancy using IVF compared to women who have unexplained infertility.
  • Lifestyle factors: obesity lowers the chances of pregnancy and having a baby. Smoking can negatively affect the quantity of the eggs. Miscarriage is more probable in women who smoke and the IVF success chance can be lower by 50%. The use of alcohol, excessive caffeine, and certain medications can also decrease the IVF success rate.


What are the IVF Complications?


Just like any other medical procedure, IVF can also be associated with some risks. They include:

  • Multiple pregnancies can happen as the result of transferring more than one embryo to the uterus. A pregnancy with multiple fetuses increases the risk of low birth weight and premature babies.
  • Miscarriages 
  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a rare syndrome in which the ovaries get swollen and painful.
  • Ectopic pregnancy can occur in about 2% to 5% of women who undergo IVF. 
  • Egg retrieval complications such as bleeding, infection, or damage to the bladder or bowels. 
  • Birth defects can happen especially if the age of the mother is high. We need more research to see if the babies born through IVF are at more risk of birth defects.
  • Cancer disease was one of the worries regarding the use of egg stimulating drugs and the idea that they develop a specific type of ovarian tumor. However, the recent studies do not approve these findings and there is no significant risk for breast, endometrial, or cervical cancer after doing IVF.
  • Stress can be an unseparated part of the IVF procedure. IVF procedure is financially, emotionally, and physically demanding for most couples. 

IVF in Iran


IVF is one of the most professional infertility treatments in many well-equipped fertility centers of Iran. In 1990, the first IVF baby was born in Iran. Ever since Iran has made great progress along with the world’s knowledge of the day. Today Iran is one of the most successful countries in the world in the field of using ART, particularly IVF. 
Besides using professional experts and well-equipped centers, Iran has one of the most affordable medical prices in the world. The average IVF cost in Iran is between $3500 per IVF cycle. The highest quality of IVF treatment along with the most affordable prices has made Iran one of the most prominent destinations of infertility treatment in the world. 

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IVF in India

The history of IVF in India is debated to be tracked back to the history of IVF procedure itself. India is one of the well-known destinations of infertility treatment due to the satisfying quality of services and medical technologies. The cost of IVF in India is from $3000 to $3500 which is a reasonable price compared to European countries. Except for surrogacy, most fertility treatments including IUI, IVF, ICSI, ovum, sperm, embryo donation, etc. are available in India. 

IVF in Turkey


Turkey is growing popular to be a destination for medical tourists who seek IVF treatment abroad. In Turkey, over 140 IVF clinics are available to offer fertility treatments to couples from all around the world at low costs. The cost of IVF in Turkey is from $2500 to $3000. You should know that the laws in Turkey do not allow egg, sperm, or embryo donation, and IVF is only possible when it is used with the couple’s own gametes. 

IVF in Ukraine

IVF in Ukraine is a popular service among both the citizens and tourists who visit this country for receiving this treatment. The High ability of Ukrainian doctors to treat fertility problems of married couples is attracting many tourists to this destination. If you are unable to conceive through your eggs, then you can use IVF with egg donation. You can find many donor profiles and choose the one you desire.
Unlike many other European countries, IVF has received completely free legislation in Ukraine. IVF, egg donation, surrogacy, and gender selection procedures are all accessible to both Ukrainians and foreigners. Therefore, this country has become a European destination that attracts many couples to Ukrainian medical fertility centres from all over the world.
IVF cost in Ukraine is between 5000 and 6000 dollars, which includes diagnostic, IVF, and medications. In addition to the beauty of this country, Ukraine has one of the most reasonable treatment prices in Europe along with affordable costs for flights, accommodation, and local transportation. 





Deciding whether you should undergo the IVF procedure or continue the IVF attempts is not an easy decision. The financial, physical, and psychological consequences of this process can influence all aspects of your life. 
The importance of using a healthcare facilitator and their supports seems very important in order to find the best treatment option and know whether you should keep following them. Seeking the support of a professional team can help you go through this process easier. 


AUTHOR: Leila Nazari

22 July 2023 - Updated At: 22 June 2024


great information. thanks


thank you