What is IVF?

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the most efficient type of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). ART includes all the treatments for infertility in which, eggs are removed and combined with sperm in laboratory under optimal conditions. The word “in vitro” means outside an organism’s body. IVF treatment is a process of fertilization in which ovum is removed from female’s body and put together with sperm in laboratory petri dishes where the sperm fertilizes the egg on its own. Once the egg develops into embryo, it is monitored for some days during which the embryologist identifies the best embryo to be implanted back to the uterus. Ideal lab environment and advanced technology along with experienced infertility specialists is imperative to achieve desired results.


IVF Side Effects & Risks

In Vitro Fertilization is overall a safe procedure but experiences may vary. It differs with each patient. For some the IVF journey can be smooth while for others it can be a roller coaster of emotional and physical challenges. However, there are some potential side effects which some people might experience after the treatment, such as:

  • Mild cramps
  • Discharge; yellowish or clear
  • Constipation
  • Mild bloating
  • Breast tenderness
  • Mild pelvic pain
  • Fatigue
It is to be kept in mind that the aforementioned side effects are negligible and they fade away with time. However, if you experience any of the following side effects then you must report the clinic or seek emergency assistance right away:
  • Fever over 100.5F (38C)
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Blood in urine

Side Effects of Fertility Drugs

Fertility medications also come with their fair share of side effects which may include:

  • Allergic reactions

  • Ovarian reserve

  • Hot flashes

  • Mood swings

  • Abdominal pain

  • Ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome, which may cause:

    • Shortness of breath
    • Decreased urinary frequency
    • Nausea or Vomiting
    • Rapid weight gain
    • Severe stomachache

How successful is IVF?

IVF journey differs with each case. Some may achieve pregnancy in their first attempt while some couples undergo second or third attempt to obtain the desired results. The success of an IVF treatment differs depending upon various factors. These factors determine the success of an IVF treatment.


Age is one of the most essential factors that determine whether or not your treatment will be successful. Data reveals that women under the age of 35 years have a greater chance of a successful IVF treatment as compared to women above the mentioned age. With age, the fertility rate in women drops and at 40 years they have only 15% to 20% chance of achieving successful pregnancy, that too if their reproductive and hormonal health is normal. Considering the age factor, it is crucial not to waste time and seek infertility treatment at earlier stage possible.

Previous Pregnancies

Infertility is of two kinds i.e., primary and secondary. Thus, if you have conceived previously with same partner but now you are unable to conceive (secondary infertility) then there is greater chance for you to achieve pregnancy with IVF. However, if you have never conceived (primary infertility) then your chances of successful conception through IVF are comparatively low although not impossible.

Healthy Lifestyle

Weight extremes are never beneficial. Healthy BMI is crucial for a couple to achieve pregnancy because it significantly increases the chances of successful IVF treatment. At Australian Concept Infertility Medical Center, we make sure that our patient’s body is prepared with ideal hormone levels and BMI in order for their treatment to be successful. Besides BMI, a healthy lifestyle is important which means that if you do not smoke and have a healthy diet and active lifestyle then your chances of success would be improved.

Clinic Chosen

With rising infertility issues, numerous IVF Clinics have been opened around. However, not all of them are successful. Couples shopping for IVF should consider the success rate of clinics. Considering the state of Pakistan’s economy, most couples can only afford one cycle of IVF. Therefore, choosing the right clinic is of utmost importance. Australian Concept Infertility Medical Center is the best IVF center in Pakistan with highest success rate. Moreover, following factors should be considered while selecting an IVF clinic:

  • Live birth rate
  • Certified IVF laboratory
  • Positive environment
  • Expertise of IVF consultants
  • Well-groomed staff
  • Mild pelvic pain

In addition to the aforementioned factors, the success rate of an IVF treatment also depends upon the following:

  • Quality of eggs retrieved
  • Quality of semen
  • Causes of infertility

Who needs IVF?

IVF is an advanced treatment for infertility that is recommended keeping the circumstances of the case and choice of couple in view. Earlier, IVF was recommended to women with damaged or blocked fallopian tubes but now it is being used to treat patients with various underlying conditions. Now, IVF is also recommended to individuals with any of the following conditions:

  • Severe endometriosis
  • Low sperm count
  • Poor sperm motility/morphology
  • Ovulation disorders
  • Premature ovarian failure
  • Genetic disorders
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Couples who have failed to conceive after few attempts of ovulation induction or IUI


Stages in an IVF Cycle

One round of an IVF treatment is known as an IVF cycle. The duration of IVF (one cycle) is about three weeks. Sometimes, various stages of an IVF cycle are split into different parts due to which the process can take longer. Typically, IVF treatment begins at the second day of your menstrual period but depending upon your treatment plan, at Australian Concept IVF Clinic, you may start particular medications even before your menstrual period. The essential stages of an IVF cycle are elaborated hereinafter:

At Australian Concept Infertility Medical Center, your IVF treatment begins at the second day of your menstrual period. If you are having any ambiguity in determining the first or second day of your period, our expert team of IVF Coordinator will help you understand and identify it.
At this stage, ovaries are stimulated with hormones that help ovaries in producing maximum number of eggs in a month. Normally, ovaries produce one egg per month without any stimulation. However, in IVF treatment it is done to increase the chances of successful fertilization in one attempt. This stage lasts about 8 to 14 days. At Australian Concept Infertility Medical Center, our infertility specialists prescribe stimulation medicine keeping in view the weight, hormones, and treatment plan of the patient. These medications include, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones may be administered to you by way of injections. We have well-trained staff and nurses who ensure the dosages are administered properly at the right time. At this stage, we acquire your blood samples every alternate day to check your estrogen levels. Also, we conduct a transvaginal ultrasound to monitor the development of follicles. The final part of this stage involves “trigger injection” which get your eggs ready for ovulation. Afterwards, the infertility specialist will schedule your egg pick-up accordingly.

ACIMC Stimulation Protocols

At Australian Concept Infertility Medical Center, we follow international stimulation protocols as prescribed by international bodies such as ASRM, ESHRE, and IFFS. Besides, all our IVF consultants and staff are experienced and well-groomed for the procedure. It is pertinent to note that FSH and LH both are produced by the body naturally thus, the medication only works as a booster for increased egg production. Moreover, the transvaginal ultrasound is conducted by an experienced female Sonologist Consultant to ensure our patient’s comfort.

This is the most delicate stage of an IVF treatment which requires experienced consultants. Egg retrieval or transvaginal ovum pick-up (TVOPU) is a day procedure which takes 20 to 30 minutes for its completion. During this stage, the patient will be sedated by an experienced anaesthetist after which an experienced specialists will retrieve follicles from your ovaries. Generally, your IVF consultant will have an idea of the number of eggs expected to be retrieved based upon the ultrasound that would take place at stimulation stage. After the eggs are retrieved, it will take two to three hours for you to be recovered after which you can go home on the same day.
As per the recommendations of our IVF Consultants and Embryologists in order to achieve successful results, it is important that fresh sperm is used that is retrieved on the same day of egg pick-up. According to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, for the purpose of obtaining reasonable sperm for testing, analysis and fertilization of eggs, two to seven days of abstinence is recommended. In case, the male partner is unable to be present at the day of egg retrieval therefore, he can get his semen frozen in advance for the procedure. The frozen semen will be thawed in and prepared in time for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection. If the male is unable to produce sperm due to any reason such as, no sperm in ejaculate or unable to give sample, then our male infertility specialist will identify you as potential biopsy patient. The biopsy takes place under general anaesthesia and it is a day treatment, hence the patient can go home the same day. Australian Concept Infertility Medical Center has a large number of patients who have given birth to healthy babies even when sperm was obtained through testicular biopsy. Once the semen is obtained, semen analysis takes place. It is a complex procedure during which the sample is graded on various parameters and properties i.e., sperm count, motility, morphology, etc. The scientists at Australian Concept Infertility Medical Center selects the best sperm after thorough analysis to ensure the eggs have maximum chance of fertilization.
After the eggs are collected, they are handed over to the embryologist in a dish containing them in fluid form. The embryologist cleans and prepares the eggs for fertilization. The eggs can either be fertilized by conventional IVF method or through Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). In conventional IVF, the eggs are combined with sperm in laboratory petri dishes under optimal environment where the sperm fertilize the eggs on its own. Whereas in ICSI, the eggs are first prepared under a microscope and afterwards, the embryologist performs intracytoplasmic sperm injection. In ICSI, the best sperm is selected which is injected directly to the cytoplasm of the egg. This procedure is quite delicate and requires utmost concentration and optimum microscope and laboratory environment.
Once the eggs start to fertilize, they are placed in an incubator that has optimum environment for their growth and development. After 24 hours, the embryologist checks the incubator using special tools such as, Primo Vision / Time Lapse machine which provides a thorough detail regarding the growth of the embryos. The sign of healthy eggs growing towards embryo is that they show cleavage within 24 hours and by day 3 they will develop into 6-8 cell embryos. On day 5 or 6, the embryos develop into blastocyst which is ideal embryo quality thus indicating that it can be transferred to the uterus. It is to be kept in mind that not all eggs fertilize and not each egg develops into embryo or blastocyst. There are numerous factors that impact the fertilization as well as development of embryos i.e., genetic disorder, laboratory environment, etc.
The embryologist identifies the healthiest and ideal embryo for embryo implantation. An ideal embryo is selected depending upon the its quality that will maximize the chances of a successful IVF treatment. the procedure of embryo implantation does not require anaesthesia thus, you are conscious during the procedure. The procedure is carried out by an experienced embryologist who will load the embryo in a plastic tube known as “catheter” and will ensure that no damage is caused to it. The catheter will pass through the cervix to reach the uterus where the embryo is dropped after a gentle push. The embryo attaches itself to the uterine wall. This procedure takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes for its completion but you are called early in order for pre-procedure preparations and after the procedure is completed, you are kept in daycare for some time.
Our specialists at Australian Concept Infertility Medical Center, usually transfer one or two embryos to the uterus. The remaining embryos are frozen for later use after consultation with the couple if they desire so. It is to be noted that Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) procedure cost less as compared to the cost of Fresh IVF cycle. Hence, going for embryo freezing can be beneficial in case your attempt fails or you plan for further babies.
Two weeks after the embryo implantation, the patient is recommended to conduct a beta HCG test. The levels of human chronic gonadotropin in the blood are measured through this test which are also the first indicator of pregnancy.


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