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IVF is the name for in-vitro fertilization a procedure that involves retrieving eggs and sperm from the bodies of the male and female partners and placing them together in a laboratory dish for fertilization The fertilized eggs are then transferred two to six days later into the female partners uterus After the fertilized eggs are set into the uterus embryo development will hopefully occur as in a normal pregnancy IVF is actually a four stage practice that begins with ovarian stimulation and monitoring In order to maximize the patients chances for successful fertilization physicians typically use ovarian stimulation medications instead of following the natural cycle which only produces one egg Ovarian stimulation causes several mature eggs to be produced for retrieval fertilization and transfer to increase the possibility that at least one will result in pregnancy See Figure 1Ovarian stimulation involves the use of follicle stimulating hormone FSH This hormone is necessary to stimulate multiple oocyte or egg development FSH is a gonadotropin the name for a type of hormone capable of stimulating the ovaries to produce eggs The female partner is usually stimulated to produce eggs by the use of HMG HCG Careful physician monitoring is necessary to adjust dosages to prevent hyper stimulation and monitor the injections site for possible infectionThe physician carefully monitors the patient with vaginal or abdominal ultrasound and blood tests The ultrasound scans provide an actual image of the ovaries and aid in monitoring follicle growth beginning approximately day eight of the cycle The physician is monitoring the growth number size of each follicle and any signs of difficulty that require alterations in treatment Monitoring also determines the timing of the next step egg retrieval In the second step once the follicle has ruptured the physician attempts to remove as many eggs as possible Not all of the eggs retrieved will be used in the current IVF cycle Unhealthy eggs and any eggs that fail to fertilize are not
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