Your eggs are suspended in a special fluid and incubated before being introduced to your partner’s sperm and left to fertilise for 16 – 20 hours. If the sperm is low quality or has a low count, your clinic may offer you ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), in which it is injected directly into your egg, which significantly improves the chances of fertilisation.
The fertilised eggs with turn into embryos over the course of the next few days; an embryologist will cultivate them for up to 6 days to maximise their chances of success. The embryos will advance through several stages, and when they become blastocysts and gain a fluid-filled cavity), your embryologist will choose one (or ones) to transfer.
Are you confused about the terminology surrounding IVF? Read through the following article to learn more about terms like ‘blastocyst’ and ‘assisted hatching.’