Is In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) the right choice for you?

Written by

Arva Health Team

12-Dec-2023

A needle inserted into a egg, used for IVF
A needle inserted into a egg, used for IVF
A needle inserted into a egg, used for IVF

You can’t walk 10 feet today without bumping into some TV show or movie that covers an infertility storyline. As such, IVF has become one of the more popular and widely used assisted reproductive techniques today. People who aren’t even looking to get pregnant seem to know what it is and how it works. But if you or your partner are considering it seriously, there are just a few things you should know. Let’s go through them together.

What should I understand about IVF?

In-Vitro Fertilisation or IVF is a groundbreaking and minimally invasive fertility treatment that was introduced first in 1978. Since then, the science has come a long way, but the basic underlying concept is the same. In IVF, fertilisation takes place outside the body instead of in the fallopian tubes to bypass any obstructions or conditions that make fertilisation difficult.

As part of IVF, sperm and eggs are collected from the biological parents, and made to form an embryo in a laboratory setting. Once the embryo is formed, it’s carefully inserted into the woman’s uterus with the hope that it will implant and develop into a healthy pregnancy.


What is the process like?

Like any procedure, IVF is a multi-step process that can take 6-8 weeks including pre-treatment and sample collection. Let’s take a look at each step in detail:

  1. Ovarian Stimulation - IVF requires as many healthy, mature eggs to be collected for better results. And so, doctors will administer hormonal medication for a course of 8-14 days, to stimulate the ovaries and develop as many eggs as possible. Throughout this stage, your doctor will recommend regular ultrasounds or blood tests to keep track of the maturation process and any potential red flags.


  2. Egg Retrieval - Once the eggs have reached the right stage of maturity, they need to collect it through a minor surgical procedure. Under anaesthesia, the surgeon will retrieve the eggs directly from the ovaries using a syringe.



  3. Sperm Collection - It takes two to tango! So while the egg retrieval process is happening, the partner or sperm donor will provide a sample. The sperm are processed and in some cases, even washed to only retain the healthiest and most viable sperm.


  4. Fertilisation - Now that we have both ingredients, an embryologist uses the retrieved eggs and processed sperm to create a cocktail in the laboratory. The embryos that form are monitored for growth and development, and incubated in the lab until they reach the desired size.


  5. Embryo Transfer - Once the embryos have multiplied and grown to be at least 10 cells large (usually in 5-6 days) it's known as the Blastocyst. And this is the stage at which it can be implanted into the uterus. Only the healthiest embryos are selected for the transfer, and this process is almost painless. Many women describe it to be similar to a regular gynaecological examination.


  6. Waiting and Testing - Now the hard part — waiting. Many couples refer to this period as the dreaded Two-Week-Wait (TWW), after which a blood test can be done to confirm if the IVF cycle has been successful.

Typically, doctors say that it can anywhere between 1-3 IVF cycles to lead to a successful pregnancy. After the third cycle, they might reevaluate and decide if there are additional obstacles for which another method like IUI or ICSI could be better, or if a 4th cycle is worth a try.


Is IVF Right for me?

It could be — and we’ll lay out the facts for you, unbiased. But that’s a decision only you and/or your partner can make. On average in India, one IVF cycle could cost anywhere between INR60-80k, and factors like age, health, underlying conditions, etc. can influence the success rate.

People with some fertility conditions also have better success with IVF like:

  • Blocked fallopian tubes - IVF completely bypasses the need for fallopian tubes

  • Women with conditions that lead to irregular periods/ovulation like PCOS or Thyroidism

  • Male-factor infertility - A few, healthy sperm can be chosen, even if you have a low sperm count or irregularly shaped sperm


    And some conditions are just not right for IUI like:

  • Over the age of 37, women with ovaries have been found to have less success. It’s not impossible, just less likely

  • If you’re using donor eggs/sperm - IVF is kind of the only option for fertilisation


How successful is IVF?

Since 1985, the overall success of a healthy, live birth with IVF has jumped from 5% to nearly 30% today. Per cycle, it obviously varies based on age, health and other factors.



*Source: Schorsch M et. al, Success Rate of Inseminations Dependent on Maternal Age? An Analysis of 4246 Insemination Cycles, 2013

Age<3535-3738-4041-42>42IVF51%45.5%35.7%22%8.7%*Source:

Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology


When should I consider IVF?

Statistically, if you’re under 37 or have been diagnosed with any of the conditions we mentioned above, IVF could definitely work for you. But speaking with your doctor could also help get some more clarity and understanding of its success for you specifically.

Ultimately, whether or not you should be considering IVF completely hinges on your medical history and circumstances. While it might be the right choice for some people, for others, there are always more options to build the family you dream of.

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Fertility care, reimagined for India—on your timeline.

This site is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you're looking for medical advice, we suggest talking with a qualified physician.

55, 4th A Main, 5th Block, Koramangala, Bangalore, 560095

© 2023 Arva Health

Fertility care, reimagined for India—on your timeline.

This site is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you're looking for medical advice, we suggest talking with a qualified physician.

55, 4th A Main, 5th Block, Koramangala, Bangalore, 560095

© 2023 Arva Health

Fertility care, reimagined for India—on your timeline.

This site is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you're looking for medical advice, we suggest talking with a qualified physician.

55, 4th A Main, 5th Block, Koramangala, Bangalore, 560095

© 2023 Arva Health