The Stages of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)


How many of you have completed an IVF cycle vs how many are just getting started with the process?
Some of you who reach out to me are in the early testing phase filled with questions and fears of the unknown, and some of you have already experienced years of treatments.  It’s always interesting to learn where all of you are in your journeys.
There’s definitely a lot of steps to IVF – it’s not as simple as one may think. There’s usually months of prep (diet changes, tests, supplements, and often surgeries) and then even 1+ month of cycle monitoring/mock cycle and medication such as birth control and lupron before the actual official IVF cycle.
The whole experience can feel scary and overwhelming when you’re navigating through it for the first time (or second +). A lot of the general anxieties and stress never really go away each cycle, even with experience.

There are a few key stages to IVF:

  1. Ovarian Stimulation Hormone Therapy
  2. Egg Retrieval
  3. Sperm Preparation
  4. Egg Fertilization
  5. Embryo Development
  6. Embryo Transfer

Obviously, there’s a lot of things that happen between, during, and after these stages (physically, emotionally and mentally). IVF isn’t an enjoyable journey, but educating yourself about the process, asking questions, and knowing how to advocate for yourself, can help take away a lot of the general stress one feels while going through IVF and helps give you a sense of control over your journey and the process.