Since many of you — our patients live in different parts of the country and abroad, one of the frequently asked questions is «How long does an in vitro procedure take?»
The answer to this question depends on the stage you are at. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) if you are under the age of 35 or you are trying to get pregnant for one year or more, it is time to seek professional help. If you are over 35 years of age, WHO recommends that you seek help after 6 months of trying. At the first meeting with a obstetrician-gynecologist, a specialist in infertility treatment, a so-called infertility counselling is conducted. During this consultation, your doctor will take a detailed history and will get familiar with any fertility tests that have been done so far .
If you do not have any testing done so far or if it is outdated / inadequate, the doctor will do additional tests. In ladies, the most time-consuming study is the so-called color photograph of the Fallopian tubes. Before the color photograph, you must have a negative result on the microbiology test of your vaginal and cervical secretion, which is usually taken about 5 days before the expected 1st day of menstruation. If the test result is negative, the color photograph is scheduled between 8th and 13th day of the subsequent cycle. The man usually undergoes a spermogram, the result of which comes out the next day, and in case of a suspicious result, the patient is referred for consultation with an urologist.
After the tests
A second visit to the gynecologist is paid. If the tests show that there are medical indications for in vitro, the patient usually takes contraceptives to synchronize the cycle. Contraception is stopped on the day determined by the treating physician. 3 to 4 days later the patient’s new cycle starts and hormonal stimulation for IVF can begin. Stimulation lasts for no more than 14 days followed by ovarian follicular puncture. The oocystes are fertilized on the same day and the resulting embryos are returned / transferred 3 or 5 days later. It is best to make a blood test for pregnancy 16 days after embryo transfer.
As you can see, planning and preparation of an IVF procedure takes a little time. Even more when patients are awaiting approval for funding from the Assisted Reproduction Center (CAR). Therefore, if you are trying to get pregnant for more than 6 months / 1 year depending on your age and you are not successful, do not postpone your visit to an infertility specialist. In many cases, the specialist manages to resolve the problem without in vitro fertilization.