fertility treatments

Test Tube Baby Procedure Step by Step - When to Go, Risk Factors, Treatment

  • 4.6   (7 Votes)
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Deepika Tiwari - MBBS on 29 Dec 2018 - Written by Dr. Sheetal Pandey Tejwani - MBBS - Grammatically Approved by Dr. Kavita Jaggi Agrawal - MBBS

Test tube baby procedure step by step is performed in few specific medical steps. Test tube baby risk factors are ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, egg retrieval, risk of ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, and multiple births risk. Success rates of test tube baby in India are worth appreciating.

Let’s Discuss in More About Test Tube Baby:

What is a Test Tube Baby?

A Test Tube Baby is a term used for a baby that is conceived outside the woman's body. The process by which a test tube baby is conceived is known as In Vitro Fertilization. In simpler words, under the IVF process, the eggs from mother’s ovaries are retrieved and mixed with the father’s sperm in a laboratory dish for fertilization. A test tube baby is a blessing to those women who can’t conceive naturally and is immensely popular worldwide.

When to go for Test Tube Baby?

1- If the father faces problems of low sperm count and/or low sperm mobility.

2- If the mother has problems in her fallopian tubes such as blockage, weak follicles, or a complicated uterus.

3- Low cervix response in a mother.

Low cervix response in a mother

4- If either father/mother or both have some disease and they don’t want it to travel to their baby.

5- If one is a single parent or same sex parent and want to fulfill their desire to become parents.

6- You can improve your chances of getting pregnant after an IVF treatment by following certain changes in lifestyle as suggested by the fertility experts.

Test Tube Baby Procedure

As stated above, one needs to go through IVF procedure to have a test tube baby.

1- First step regarding this is the selection of an IVF/ fertility doctor or a fertility clinic where you can get hassle free IVF treatment.

2- After you consult an IVF doctor or IVF specialist or an IVF clinic, he/she first makes sure that the mother’s ovaries are producing multiple follicles by using drugs such as gonadotropin given in the form of an injection.

3- Followed by that, continuous monitoring is done using ultrasound and hormone testing.

4- Excess fluid from ovaries is wiped out in some cases to see the presence of the eggs.

Excess fluid from ovaries

5- Once the eggs become visible, ultrasound guided needles are used to retrieve them.

6- After this, the fertilization process takes place. Under this procedure, fertilization of the eggs with the sperms from the partner or donor takes place and the embryo is prepared in the laboratory.

7- Created Embryo is cultured and monitored for 3-5 days. Sometimes more than one or two embryos are also cultured. But their survival depends upon the mother’s health.

8- In such cases, the excess embryos maybe put into freezing for the next cycle, in case the need arises.

9- Transfer of an embryo into the mother’s uterus happens afterward by sticking the embryo to mother’s uterus.

Transfer of an embryo into the mother's uterus

10- If the embryo remains to stick to the wall for up to 25 days, the doctor declares pregnancy.

Complete rest of up to seven days is suggested post this process so that the embryo could adjust to the new environment.

Risk factors to consider while going for a Test Tube Baby

1- Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

OHS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome) is a very serious situation which may arise during the IVF procedure. The use of fertility stimulating drugs such as Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) may cause the ovaries to overreact manifested in terms of swelling and cramps. A woman going through IVF procedure may also experience bloating, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, heartburn etc. Sometimes, she might also experience shortness of breath and excessive weight gain as a side effect to the ovulation-inducing drugs. However, these complications are not absolute and can be easily treatable.

2- Issues regarding egg retrieval

There may arise the issue of bladder infection or infection in the blood during the egg retrieval process. This is due to the reason that, in the egg retrieval process the performing doctor uses a needle to collect the eggs from the ovaries. In this process, there are paramount risks including an infection in the blood vessels, bladder or the bowel.

3- Risk of Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg implants itself outside the uterus instead of the uterine walls. Although there are 5-10% chances of the pregnancy turning into an ectopic with IVF, one should be careful regarding this. When this kind of situation emerges, abortion is the only way to get rid of complications.

Risk of Ectopic Pregnancy

4- Miscarriage

Miscarriage is very common with IVF. Normally the risk is more with the frozen embryos. The biological age of the women and the underworking hormones are also one of the reasons where miscarriage is possible with IVF.

5- Risk of multiple births

Risk of multiple births is paramount with a test tube baby making. This is due to the factor that to mitigate any risk factor, more than one embryo is transferred within the uterus, which may end up in multiple births. It carries the risk of obstetrical complication and painful labour session.

7- Health of the babies

Test Tube Babies are more prone to the birth defects than the normal babies. Test tube baby is exposed to birth defects, chromosomal abnormalities and low birth weight due to the usage of the fertility drugs.

Success Rate of Test Tube Baby

The success rate of IVF or test tube baby in India is high i.e. 65% among the females within 21 to 30 years of age. The chances of successful IVF are highest among younger women.

Is Test Tube Baby Healthy?

Since the inception of IVF technology, most of the test tube babies are healthy. However few cases have been found of low birth weight and diabetes.

Healthy test tube baby

How Much does Test Tube Babies Cost?

The test babies can cost between ‘$6,000 to $11,000’in UK and US. And if you are looking for cost details in India, click on Fair Treatment Cost calculator.

Is the Process of IVF painful?

During the cycles, there will be several times when one might expect pain. The woman will start experiencing pain during her injections for eggs development. And pain is also expected when the ovaries start to enlarge, resulting in bloating and lower abdomen pain. The woman can expect pain during egg retrieval phase. And then the woman can have pain during embryo transfer.

How long does the complete IVF treatment take?

It usually takes about four to six weeks for completing one cycle of IVF. Then you need to wait for a few weeks to let eggs mature.

What are the options after failed IVF?

The first thing you can do is consulting other doctors. You can go for a sperm donor or an egg donor depending on your requirement. To know more about the reasons behind failed IVF, read our article on Causes for IVF Failure.

Looking for a fertility clinic? Learn the ways to identify a good fertility clinic which ensures higher success rates. Also, get to know other possible ways to treat Infertility Issues in Couples.

Dr. Sheetal Pandey Tejwani

Written by

Gynecologic Surgeon, Laparoscopic Surgeon

Dr. Sheetal Pandey Tejwani is an Infertility Specialist, Gynecologic Surgeon and Obstetrician, located in Mumbai and having an experience of almost a decade. Her alma mater is B J MEDICAL COLLEGE in Pune from where she completed her MBBS and MS in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2007 and 2009, respectively. In the following year, she pursued her DNB in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She received her Post Doctoral Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine from Krishna IVF Vizag and Nadkarni IVF Centre, Surat in 2013. She is the member of 3 different associations i.e. Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction (ISAR), Indian Medical Association (IMA), and Association of Medical Consultants. Her area of expertise includes Tubectomy/Tubal Ligation, Hysterectomy (Abdominal/Vaginal), Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Caesarean Section and In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). She is a consultant in Veda Fertility And Urology Care, Mira Road and is a visiting consultant in Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road, Mumbai. You can get the contact details of Dr. Sheetal Pandey Tejwani at elawoman.com



Sukanya Rajput

I was so scared about the health of the born baby after IVF. But this article cleared all my doubts. Thanks for sharing!

Oct. 5, 2018, 3:33 p.m. 4.5


Rupesh Rana

In which cases surrogacy IVF is used? Does the child get any of the genes from surrogate?

Sept. 25, 2018, 4:16 p.m. 4.5


Bhimdev Tripathi

I always used to assume how test tube baby works? Thanks for sharing this, I got all my answers!

Sept. 11, 2018, 11:53 a.m. 5.0


Pankhuri Khurana

Quite interesting info on IVF baby. Have been reading a lot on the topic, looking forward to getting happily pregnant.

June 2, 2018, 4:06 p.m. 5.0


Garima Singh

IVF success chances are higher as compared to IUI.

May 23, 2018, 2:48 p.m. 4.5


Shivam Munde

IVF procedure helped me and my wife to become parents. It was a fruitful experience for us.

April 21, 2018, 4:40 a.m. 4.5


Savitri Sachdev

IVF is a very successful method but it is quite expensive if you go by yourself to a clinic. We visited the IVF center on Ela's recommendation and were guided well with the procedure and cost of the treatment well in advance.

April 12, 2018, 5:47 p.m. 4.5

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