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Independent Info & News Regarding IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)

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Fertilization

For couples trying to get pregnant, fertilization is the goal; it is true that it is one of the most important steps in the process of having a baby, but it is not the only one. When fertilization occurs naturally, the sperm successfully makes its way up through the vagina following copulation, swims through the uterus and up into the fallopian tube, where it encounters the freshly-released egg and penetrates it.


Once the sperm has merged with the egg, the sperm's tail falls off and the merged unit travels down to the uterus for the next important step in the process, which is called implantation. If this occurs, you are well on your way to having a baby.


When a couple is having trouble getting pregnant on their own, an infertility specialist can help them by removing the egg from the woman's ovaries and marrying it with the sperm in the lab; once this process, called in vitro fertilization, is completed, the fertilized egg is them placed back into the woman so that implantation can take place and pregnancy occurs.


Timeline


When a couple is trying to get pregnant, the most important thing that they can do to enhance their chances of fertilization taking place is to make sure that the sperm and the egg are both in the same place at the same time. Because the egg is only available in the fallopian tube after ovulation for a couple of days, many couples go to great efforts to be aware of when a woman is most likely to be fertile; they may track her menstrual cycle by simply using a calendar. Continued below..

they can take her daily basal temperature in order to track minute changes that signal fertility, or they can use a fertility predictor that will pinpoint exactly when the egg is most likely to be in the prime spot for fertilization to occur. Having intercourse every other day for several days before and after ovulation ensures that there are plenty of sperm at the ready to maximize your chances.


Implantation


Once the egg has been fertilized, whether in the fallopian tubes or in the laboratory during the process of in vitro fertilization, the next step of the process is implantation. Implantation is when the embryo attaches itself to the walls of the uterus, where it will receive nourishment during the course of the pregnancy. Following implantation the baby begins to grow rapidly for the next nine months. In order for implantation to take place, the uterine lining needs to be healthy and there needs to be a proper amount of the hormone progesterone to maintain its presence there. Often when a woman has had infertility problems and has gone through in vitro fertilization, her physician will give her shots of progesterone in order to ensure that the fertilized egg has the best chances of implanting.


Symptoms


Although women who are anxious to get pregnant may think that they detect when fertilization takes place, the truth is that this is just a result of the mind playing tricks on you when you are trying to get pregnant. Fertilization takes place at a microscopic level, and would be nearly impossible to detect. That being said, some women do think that they can detect when implantation occurs, because they think that they can feel a cramping sensation. Whether this is true or not is difficult to determine. It is known that there can sometimes be a small amount of spotting following implantation. Fertilization generally happens within a day or two after ovulation, and implantation another several days after that.

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