How does assisted reproduction work?

How does IVF work? 

Each couple and their story is unique to us. At PFC, based on years of experience, an individual approach is essential to the success of IVF treatment. One IVF coordinator and one, personal doctor, supported by experienced embryologists, will guide you through the entire treatment process.

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Initial contact and introductions 

You will hear from an English-speaking IVF Coordinator, who will accompany you throughout your treatment, within 24 hours of contacting PFC. Your Coordinator will answer any initial questions and arrange a convenient time for a free, no-obligation consultation with your doctor.

In partnership with your IVF Coordinator, you will prepare for the initial doctor consultation so that you feel at ease and know what to expect. Your Coordinator will also advise you to consider questions and expectations for when you meet the doctor.


Initial consultation and examination 

As much as we would love to welcome you to our clinic for your first consultation in person, we understand that your time might be difficult. We can, however, conduct your initial consultation online remotely. During the interview, the doctor will discuss in detail your medical history and review with you the results of the tests conducted in your country of residence.

Examinations that a doctor usually conducts in order to determine the appropriate course of action include:

Advanced or additional examinations can be suggested by the doctor based on the couple’s medical history and the results of the sperm analysis.

During all visits and consultations, your IVF coordinator will be with you. Your IVF Coordination can act as an interpreter both for language and medical terminology to ensure you receive all information and understand it well.

Learn more about the examinations that await 


Treatment plan and stimulation recommendations 

Based on your medical history and examination results, the doctor will recommend a personalised treatment plan and prepare a stimulation protocol. If you opt for PFC treatment and agree to the plan, you will start stimulation from the 1st day of your next period.

This lasts for 8 – 10 days, and around day 6 – 9, you will have an ultrasound scan to show the number and size of your follicles. Your doctor will determine the optimal date for their collection. This check, like the previous examination, can be done outside our clinic and even in a foreign country. The results can be sent to us via our secure patient portal. It is best that the description of the findings is accompanied by visual documentation, most typically ultrasound photographs.


Egg and sperm retrieval and fertilisation 

On an agreed date, usually during days 11 – 15 of your cycle, you will visit our clinic for egg retrieval. Your partner will also attend for sperm retrieval unless you are using frozen or donated sperm. 

Egg retrieval takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes.
In most cases, we perform egg retrieval under a short intravenous general anaesthetic. Embryologists immediately examine the retrieved eggs under a microscope and select those that are suitable for fertilisation.

Our embryologists also check for and select the most viable sperm, which will eventually fertilise the eggs, usually using the intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) method. Successfully fertilised embryos continue to develop in the laboratory, usually for 3 to 5 days, in conditions that replicate the natural environment of a woman’s body.


Embryo transfer and pregnancy test after IVF Treatment 

The day after the eggs are fertilised, we will inform you about the developing embryos. As part of a personal consultation on the day of transfer, an embryologist will discuss in detail information about the quality, development and number of embryos, including a record of time-lapse monitoring. The doctor will then non-invasively insert the selected embryo into the uterus using an ultrasound check. You can take a pregnancy test 14 days after the transfer. In the event of either a positive or negative result, we will schedule a follow-up with us. Our care for you does not end with the transfer.

Assisted reproduction methods 

FAQs about the IVF process: 

Who is an IVF Coordinator? 

Your personal IVF Coordinator speaks your language and is your liaison with the clinic. Your IVF Coordinator will look after you throughout the treatment process. She will arrange appointments in partnership with you, prepare you for your consultations so that you feel at ease, and advise you on the necessary documents and steps to take in all procedures.She will be available during treatment for any questions or concerns you may have. She will also be present at all consultations, examinations and is available for all administrative tasks where you may need translation into your own language.

How does the egg retrieval process work? 

Egg retrieval takes place at our clinic at a time determined by the doctor according to the maturity of the eggs. The procedure usually takes place under general anaesthesia and lasts between 10 and 20 minutes. After waking up and having a short rest, which should be at least for two hours, you can go home accompanied by an escort. You should not drive after the procedure.

Is egg retrieval possible without anaesthesia? 

For smaller numbers of eggs, usually in cases of natural or minimally stimulated cycles, you can opt for a procedure without general anaesthesia. This is a quick procedure for which the doctor uses a special thin needle. However, pain tolerence is always an individual matter and the choice of anesthesia is your decision.

How is stimulation during IVF performed? 

Depending on examination results, the doctor will determine an appropriate stimulation protocol and prescribe you the necessary medication. All details regarding stimulation will be explained to you in detail. Stimulation usually starts on the 2nd or 3rd day of your menstrual cycle and lasts for a total of 8 to 10 days. Depending on the results of the follow-up ultrasound, your doctor will decide whether to adjust the stimulation protocol or set a date for egg retrieval.

What happens to the body after embryo transfer? 

After the transfer of the embryo into the uterus, in the ideal scenario, the embryo will nest. This process may be accompanied by light bleeding in some cases, but there is no need to worry about this. After successful implantation, the fetus begins to produce the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG, which sustains the pregnancy and ultimately leads to a positive pregnancy test.

When should a test be taken after assisted reproduction? 

Always take a pregnancy test after assisted reproduction on the day specified by your doctor. This is typically 14 days after the transfer. Please be aware that a test taken too soon may show up negative, even though the embryo has attached. This is likely to cause you unnecessary stress. The amount of the hormone hCG the test detects increases gradually, and the test will only detect it with certainty on the first day of your expected period. We understand that this is a stressful situation, so be aware that your coordinator is always available to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

What should I do after egg retrieval? 

After egg retrieval, you should follow the rest plan recommended by your doctor. Immediately after the procedure, you will rest for approximately two hours at our clinic. The doctor will then, assuming there are no issues, release you accompanied by an escort. You should not drive a car following the procedure. In the following days, make sure you replenish sufficient fluids and avoid major physical exertion and sports. If you feel unwell, contact your coordinator who will discuss the situation with you and arrange a check-up with your doctor.