In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a common procedure used all over the world to help people with fertility issues conceive. This technique has been around for over 40 years and it is one of the most successful and commonly used fertility treatments available.

In this article, we will be taking a look at the complex process of IVF treatment in detail; highlighting the different stages, as well as informing you about what you can expect from the procedure – from success rates to preparation.

What is IVF treatment?

“IVF treatment is an effective technique that can help people with fertility issues have a healthy baby” explains our consultant gynaecologist and specialist in reproductive medicine and surgery, Mr Tarek El-Touky.

“The procedure involves extracting an egg from the ovaries of a woman, before taking the egg to a laboratory and fertilising it with sperm. The fertilised egg – the embryo – is then returned to the womb where it develops and grows.”

The technique can be carried out using sperm from the partner of the woman who provided the egg, or sperm from a donor.

IVF is commonly used for:

How long does IVF take?

“For some women, IVF treatment can take several cycles to be effective, whereas other women can get pregnant right away. This will depend on several factors, including age, how many eggs there are remaining, and the health and lifestyle of the individual.” explains Mr El-Touky.

One IVF cycle typically takes up to 4 weeks – this includes the time up until it is known a woman has become pregnant.

IVF process step by step

There are several steps in IVF treatment. The three main elements are:

  • produce multiple eggs
  • extract the eggs and fertilise them with sperm
  • return the embryo(s) to the womb where they can grow

How to prepare for IVF

Lifestyle and diet play a key part in preparation for IVF, sticking to a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight can impact the success of your cycle.

Our specialists can provide advice on preparing for the IVF process, and we offer counselling to all patients in our Assisted Conception Unit to ensure that you are also emotionally ready. If you are interested in IVF treatment and would like more information or to book an appointment with one of our fertility experts, contact our dedicated team.