White Transparent logo | Australian Concept

What Are The Stages of IVF And Its Process

Do you know infertility is not as uncommon as one might think? According to the World Health Organization, 17.5% of the population worldwide suffers from infertility, which translates to every 1 in 6 couples. Fortunately, assisted reproductive technology helped infertile couples conceive.
IVF, or in-vitro fertilization, has been around for decades, with the first IVF treatment dating back to 1978. IVF procedure helped many aspiring parents get pregnant.
You might already be familiar with the IVF concept, which involves uniting the sperm and eggs outside the human body. However, there’s more to it than that. In this post, we’ll walk you through everything you should know about IVF, including how it’s conducted in five stages and the success rate. Keep reading.

What is In-Vitro Fertilization?

IVF is an assisted reproductive technology recommended for partners who can’t get pregnant after trying for a year or longer. IVF is a medical procedure that involves the fertilization of an egg outside a human’s body. Mature and healthy eggs are collected from the woman’s ovaries and are combined with the sperm in a lab.

Once fertilization occurs, the resulting embryo is implanted into the woman’s uterus, where it grows into a fetus. The pregnancy continues like normal. The procedure might take 2-3 weeks and is often split into several stages. Sometimes, multiple embryos are implanted into the uterus to increase your chances of pregnancy, but this can also result in multiple implantations, meaning you might carry twins or triplets.

IVF Blog Image

IVF Process and Its 5 Stages:

IVF is split into five stages, as explained below:

Ovarian Stimulation:

A woman’s ovaries release one egg each month during her ovulation cycle. If you choose in-vitro fertilization, your healthcare provider use injectables that signal your body to produce multiple eggs at a time, thus increasing the chances of releasing at least one viable egg that can be fertilized.
Simply put, your gynecologist will inject Follicle-Stimulating Hormone, which matures your eggs and prepares your uterus to hold them. In this first step of IVF, your doctor order ultrasounds to check your ovarian follicles and hormonal tests for estrogen levels.

Removing the Eggs

The egg retrieval or harvesting is conducted 36 hours after your doctor injects the hormone to mature the eggs. Your doctor will pay attention to the timing of the egg retrieval, as delaying it too much can lead to losing healthy eggs.
Egg retrieval requires a minor surgery, usually conducted on an outpatient basis. In this procedure, the doctor will harvest your eggs transvaginal.
Ultrasound use to locate the ovarian follicles that hold the eggs and insert a thin needle through your vagina to collect the eggs. The needle attached to a suction device is guided to the ovarian sacs to harvest the eggs safely. The procedure isn’t as painful as it sounds. You will be sedated throughout the process, although mild cramping is quite common after egg retrieval. It should resolve within a day or two.

Sperm Retrieval

Your healthcare provider will schedule sperm retrieval with egg retrieval. The semen sample should be fresh, although frozen sperm can sometimes be used. If the man is diagnosed as infertile due to azoospermia or other causes, a surgical sperm retrieval procedure advised to collect healthy sperm. Like egg retrieval, it’s performed on an outpatient basis. The patient sedated, and a thin needle inserted into their testicles to harvest sperm. The sample undergoes a high-speed wash cycle, which separates healthy sperm from the dead sperm.


The next step is the most crucial. Eggs are united with sperm to induce fertilization. This can be done in a traditional way, in which the eggs and sperm are put in a petri dish and mixed. The doctor leaves them overnight to fertilize naturally.
If that doesn’t work, they will inject the sperm into the egg. It takes 24 hours for the fertilization to be successful. Your medical team will check the petri dish to know if fertilization has taken place. Once the procedure is successful, they will leave the fertilized egg for 5-6 days.
Sometimes, the medical team might conduct Preimplantation genetic Testing (PGT) on the fertilized eggs to test them for genetic diseases or any chromosomal abnormalities before they implanted into the uterus. This is done on the fifth or sixth day of fertilization. The doctor might freeze the embryos until the results are available.

Implantation of the Embryo

While your eggs are stored in the petri dish for fertilization in the lab, you will be on hormonal medication that thickens your uterine lining to prepare it for implantation. These hormonal medications will continue throughout the first trimester to ensure your uterus supports the embryo.
You must visit the doctor within 2-5 days of fertilization for the embryo implantation. It’s done through transvaginal ultrasound and a catheter that’s inserted into the uterus through the cervix. The catheter carries the fertilized egg, which is implanted into the uterus.
Depending on your health and goals, the doctor might insert more than one embryo at a time. The doctor might also save the embryos for later use, i.e., if you need to undergo another cycle of IVF.
The doctor schedule a pregnancy test within a week or two after embryo implantation to check your HCG levels. If they are rising normally, your doctor will order an ultrasound three weeks later to evaluate the viability of your pregnancy.

Success Rate of IVF

How successful IVF is for a couple depends on multiple factors, like the woman’s age, the cause of infertility, location, the quality of her eggs, and more. On average, 55% of women below 35 could conceive a healthy baby through IVF on their first try. Surprisingly, 8 million babies are born annually with IVF treatment. So far, it’s considered the most effective form of infertility treatment.


Many women have received positive pregnancy results from an IVF test in the past. While you might conceive in the first IVF attempt, there’s a chance the embryo might not implant successfully, or you might have to undergo another IVF cycle to conceive. However, IVF is your best chance at conceiving if the natural ways and other infertility treatment options have failed.