Apr 08, 2022

How Long Does IVF Take? A Timeline

Taking steps to ensure a safe pregnancy and healthy delivery can be an emotional time full of anticipation. It helps to understand the process so you feel prepared and arrange for the proper support system. For example, one cycle of IVF takes six to eight weeks from consultation to embryo transfer. The time frame depends on various factors such as:

Let’s dive deeper into how long IVF takes, so you can thoroughly prepare for what lies ahead. If you have any questions, contact the Future Family team. We are happy to help with whatever you may need.

Month-to-Month IVF Timeline

IVF involves five key areas: ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, sperm retrieval, fertilization, and embryo transfer.

Here’s how these components fit into a six-week timeline. Again, your IVF timeline may differ, so we encourage you to speak with your fertility specialist about your plan details.

Month 1

During the consultation process, you’ll be required to complete health screenings such as:

  • Uterine cavity evaluation
  • Preconception screening
  • Semen analysis
  • Preconception genetic carrier screening

Some of these screenings are done at a specific time of your menstrual cycle, so they take about a month to complete.  Genetic carrier screening results can take 2-3 weeks.

Month 2

Most IVF cycles require one month of birth control pills for "suppression" or a combination of hormones such as estrogen and testosterone for priming.

Month 3

Individuals take a series of injections at a specific time and frequency (this varies from person to person). You will likely receive transvaginal ultrasounds and blood tests to check on your eggs, ovaries, and hormone levels during this time. The purpose is to help the eggs reach final maturation.

Depending on how your eggs develop from the injections, your fertility specialist may recommend you continue injections for another week. Egg stimulation generally takes seven to 14 days.

Your fertility physician will retrieve the eggs. This is a minor surgical procedure called follicular aspiration. It is considered an outpatient procedure and will be done at the doctor’s office.

Your partner will provide a semen sample, or you may choose to use donor sperm. An embryologist will try to fertilize your eggs with sperms. It typically takes a few hours for a sperm to fertilize an egg.

Month 4

Depending on your situation, your physician may conduct additional procedures before the embryo transfer:

  • Assisted hatching: Doctors often recommend this for those who have had multiple failed IVFs. A hole in the zona pellucida is created to help the embryo hatch from its hard outer layer and implant in the uterus. This is done five to six days after fertilization.
  • Preimplantation genetic testing: Embryos may be tested for specific genetic diseases, typically five or six days after fertilization.  

About three to five days after fertilization, your physician will place the embryos in your uterus. This procedure is done in the doctor’s office, like the egg retrieval process.

Fertility specialists generally recommend waiting two weeks after your embryo transfer to take a pregnancy test.

How Many Rounds of IVF Does It Usually Take?

As we noted earlier, age impacts IVF success rates. The younger you are (35 or younger), the fewer IVF rounds you’ll likely need for a successful live birth.

According to research:

  • The chances of giving a successful birth improve with each IVF cycle.
  • For women of all ages (median age in the study was 35), there is a 65.3 percent chance of birth after six rounds of IVF.

While IVF is an exciting time, it can feel stressful and overwhelming, especially if a cycle does not work out. Self-care is an important part of the process for both your physical and mental well-being. Be patient and kind to yourself with IVF stress management practices.

How Many Days Do You Take IVF Injections?

Women typically take IVF injections from seven to 14 days. This timeframe aims to encourage follicles in your ovaries to produce more eggs.

Learn about Future Family’s IVF Plans

Though learning how long IVF takes from start to finish can seem daunting, Future Family is here to help. We have access to fertility coaches who can be your support system and loan plans that can help you determine the best way to pay for IVF.

We are here for you. Learn more about Future Family’s IVF plans today.

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Family can help you

Flexible financing plans and dedicated support for IVF and egg freezing