May 2, 2024

Navigating the IVF Journey: A Detailed Step-by-Step Guide

Understanding the IVF process in detail is crucial for anyone considering this path to parenthood. This guide breaks down each step of the IVF process, providing insights into what you can expect at every stage.

Step 1: Initial Consultation and Fertility Assessment

What to Expect: Your IVF procedure begins with an in-depth consultation with a fertility doctor. This includes discussing your medical history, lifestyle, and previous fertility treatments.

Fertility Tests: You and your partner will undergo various tests, including blood work andultrasounds fto assess ovarian reserve and the pelvic anatomy, and a semen analysis to evaluate sperm quality and function.

Step 2: Ovarian Stimulation

Hormonal Medications: You will be prescribed medications to stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple eggs. These are typically self-administered injections.

Monitoring Your Progress: Regular visits for ultrasounds and blood tests are necessary to monitor egg development and adjust medication dosages. This process is called cycle monitoring and it will require you to visit the clinic frequently to monitor progress.

Step 3: Egg Retrieval

The Procedure: Egg retrieval is performed under conscious sedation. An ultrasound-guided needle is passedthrough the vaginal wall to extract eggs from the ovaries.

Recovery: Post-procedure, you may experience mild discomfort or bloating. Recovery is usually swift, allowing you to go home the same day.

Step 4: Fertilization and Embryo Development

Insemination: Retrieved eggs are combined with sperm in the lab to encourage fertilization.

Embryo Culturing: Over the next 3-5 days, the embryos are monitored for growth. At this stage, preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) may be offered.

Step 5: Embryo Transfer

Embryo transfer vs. Embryo Freezing: You and your doctor will discuss whether it is appropriate to perform a fresh embryo transfer or to freeze all of your embryos for future use in a frozen embryo transfer cycle

Selecting the Embryo: The healthiest embryo(s) is selected for transfer. Typically one embryo is transferred at a time.

The Transfer Process: A catheter is used to place the embryo directly into your uterus under ultrasound-guidance. This process is generally painless.

Embryo Freezing: At this point, any additional embryos can be frozen for future use.

Step 6: The Two-Week Wait

What to Expect: The wait before taking a pregnancy test can be emotionally challenging. It’s normal to experience a range of emotions during this period.

Physical Symptoms: Some may experience mild cramping or spotting. It’s important to follow your doctor's advice regarding activity levels and medications.

Step 7: Pregnancy Test

Blood Test: About two weeks after the embryo transfer, a blood test will confirm if the procedure has resulted in a pregnancy.

Each step in the IVF process is a blend of advanced medical science and personalized care. While the journey can be demanding, understanding what to expect at each phase can provide reassurance and a sense of control.

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About Pollin Fertility

Pollin Fertility was founded in 2023 with a mission to develop the most advanced clinical, digital and IVF lab technology to improve the fertility patient experience and treatment outcomes.  

Pollin’s first flagship clinic is located at 2360 Yonge St. in midtown Toronto.

To learn more about the fertility treatments and services offered at Pollin visit

To book an OHIP covered consultation with one of our fertility specialists or click the link below.

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