Fertility Treatment: IVF
What is IVF?
IVF, or In Vitro Fertilisation, is one of the fertility treatments available to help women and couples conceive when a natural approach has been unsuccessful, or isn’t possible.
In IVF, medication is given to stimulate a woman’s ovaries, encouraging the production of multiple eggs. When these are ready, they are collected and placed into petri dishes with sperm, where fertilisation happens ‘in vitro’ (meaning in glass). Embryos form and are monitored in a laboratory before hopefully inserting one (or multiple, depending on the advice of your medical team) into the uterus for implantation.
IVF is one of the fertility treatments we specialise in at Apricity, offering seven day a week support and tailored options to meet your needs, location and preferences. To find out how you can receive our additional benefits at no extra cost, please get in touch with one of our Apricity advisors.
For more information on IVF, the below will outline what you can expect during your IVF treatment.
IVF Treatment Stages: Pre-treatment Consultation
The first step in our IVF treatment is a consultation with an Apricity advisor. You will have the opportunity to share your medical history and treatment preferences (such as home blood tests to avoid additional travel, counselling sessions or ultrasound scans close to your house). If IVF sounds like the most appropriate treatment for you, we would arrange a follow up assessment at a clinic to ensure that you are physically ready to undergo the treatment. This will involve a number of tests. If you have done fertility tests at other clinics, please do let us know as there are some tests you may not need to repeat.
IVF Treatment Stages : Stimulation
A normal IVF treatment cycle starts with a woman taking stimulation drugs to encourage follicle growth, and therefore the number of eggs available. Stimulation medications are typically given as a daily injection, just under the skin using a small needle, and can usually be done at home by the woman herself or a partner. Our app offers guidance on how to inject, and our advisors will be available for additional information and support if you are feeling apprehensive about injecting.
Your Apricity care team will be closely monitoring your hormone levels and the size and number of follicles using a combination of ultrasound scans and blood tests. When your follicles have reached optimal number and size, you are ready to arrange your egg collection. This normally happens happens between 10 and 15 days after the start of your stimulation drugs. Your Apricity care team will set an exact date and time around 2 to 3 days before egg collection and instruct you to take a trigger shot (also known as a trigger injection), approximately 36 hours before your planned egg collection time. Your Apricity advisor will be on call around the time of your trigger injection to ensure you feel supported, as it is often needs to be taken late at night.
IVF Treatment Stages: Egg collection
The egg collection procedure is normally done under sedation or anaesthetic, and your Apricity app and advisors will guide you through how to prepare for your appointment, and how much time to take off work. During egg collection, eggs are visualised via ultrasound and collected using a fine tube inserted to the ovaries through the vagina.
A fresh or thawed sample of either the partner’s sperm or donor sperm is then mixed with the eggs in laboratory conditions. An embryologist (a specialist in the early stages of conception and embryo development) will carefully monitor the process of the eggs becoming fertilised and developing into healthy embryos.
IVF Treatment Stages: Embryo transfer
Your embryo transfer procedure will take place between 3 and 6 days after egg collection and depends on the quality of embryos and your medical background (maternal age, previous treatments, etc). The embryology team will make the decision based on embryological criteria to optimise your chances of pregnancy.
A healthy embryo is introduced into the womb through a fine tube inserted through the vagina. This process is much quicker than the egg collection, and most women find it comparable to having a smear test. After the embryo is implanted, your clinic will give you a date on which to do a pregnancy test – usually around two weeks later. During this wait, our advisors will do everything they can to ensure you feel supported and cared for. They will be there to discuss next steps following the pregnancy test.
Trying to become pregnant can be one of the most physically and emotionally exhausting journeys women and couples experience. At Apricity, we believe in empowering you with transparent information, support, and all the options possible to make your fertility journey a warmer experience. Call one of our advisors to get started.