While there are a number of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) available to infertile couples, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is by far the most utilized of these methods. In fact, IVF accounts for more than 95% of all ART procedures.

If you're not familiar with IVF, then take a look at What is IVF?, which gives you a general overview of what is involved in this procedure.

To gain a better understanding of the procedure, though, you may want to read our more detailed descriptions of each stage of the IVF procedure, including retrieval, embryo culture, and transferring of the embryo.

Our Timetable & Embryo Grading guide will help you understand just how your embryo develops before it is transferred back to you. Embryo Development will give you a detailed look at how a fertilized egg divides before being transferred.

It is important to note that there are two types of transfers that can occur in an IVF procedure: the standard 3-day transfer or a blastocyst transfer. Both types of transfer have advantages and disadvantages, as outlined in 3 Day Transfer vs. Blastocyst Transfers.

While your embryos are still in the lab, there are a number of techniques that IVF specialists can perform to improve the health your embryos. One such technique is assisted hatching, which may improve your embryos ability to implant in your uterus.

Some couples also ask that their embryos receive a preimplantation genetic diagnosis before being transferred. This diagnostic test allows specialists to transfer only those embryos which are healthiest.

Since many eggs are retrieved and fertilized during IVF, you may be wondering what happen to those embryos that are not transferred back to you. A common procedure for numerous couples is to have the extra embryos cryo-preserved so that they can be used in future IVF cycles if necessary. This is known as frozen embryo transfer.

For couples who aren't sure that IVF is the right form of ART for them, there are alternatives. Some other types of ART include GIFT, ZIFT, and TET.


Learn more about The Process of IVF

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I had expensive IVF Rx in India but it failed.
6 years ago
I have just had a blood test result - which was taken at day 5 of my cycle which shows 22% FSH. I don't know much about this, I know I desperately want a baby. Could anyone please help with a diagnosis and let me know if the FSH level can be reduced and if I can have IVF treatment. Thank you
12 years ago
IVF technique
Information provided by this article is efficient to know about the whole process of IVF technique.This treatment is helpful to overcome the problem of infertility.
12 years ago
My husbend semen analysis showed 80 million sperms per ml and 0% activity, dr. has recommended for IVF , would it be succesful.
12 years ago
We are on our first cycle of IVF. I have stage 4 endometriosis and history of a normal pregnancy with no fertility help and then an ectopic. I am on day 8 of stim meds and my estrogen levels are only 222. It appears that we have possibly 5 foll. My Dr. talked to us today about this possibly being a failed ivf cycle and switching to IUI. Looking for some info or advice- Thanks
12 years ago