How long is the IVF process from start to finish?

7 fertility expert(s) answered this question

Answer from: Raúl Olivares, MD

Gynaecologist, Medical Director & Owner
Barcelona IVF

The duration of the IVF depends on the protocol, but in a normal scenario, the patient usually starts the stimulation on the 1st day of the period, egg collection takes place between day 12-14 of the cycles, the transfer should be done 5 days later, on day 18-19, and then patients usually wait for like 12 – 14 days until they do the pregnancy test. Unless you’re doing some kind of long protocol in which the down-regulation started in the last days of the former cycle, the process of IVF takes one month. The stimulation usually starts on the third day of the cycle. A pregnancy test is done on day 27-28, depending on how fast the patient has responded.

Answer from: Guillermo Quea Campos

Gynaecologist, Specialist in Reproductive Medicine
Pronatal Fertility Clinics

From the beginning to the end of the treatment it’s about one and a half months to two months between when the tests are performed, we then review the results  and start the cycle. The time between the start of the treatment and the confirmation of pregnancy is relative because it depends on the type of patient diagnosis and type of treatment used.

Answer from: Tomas Frgala, PhD

Gynaecologist, Head Physician at UNICA Clinic - Brno
Unica Clinics – Prague and Brno

Well, I assume we’re talking about one IVF cycle, one stimulation of the ovaries of the female patient and then fertilization of the eggs and cultivation of the embryos. The answer still needs to be individualized. So, based on the examinations that will be necessary and the preparations however, usually the stimulation or the whole process of the IVF takes about five outpatient visits and it’s stretched over a period of let’s say one month approximately 4 weeks. Usually, what we do at our clinics is an ultrasound and a formal initiation of the treatment approximately six or seven days prior to the expected menstruation, we need to get ready, we need to check with ultrasound that everything’s okay, the protocol is set and the medications are actually presented and explained to the patient. Then, from day two we usually start the stimulation. After seven days, there’s a first ultrasound check, another three days later, the second ultrasound. The stimulation part, the injections, usually takes 10 to 12 days. Two days later, the oocyte pickup, so that represents actually the ovulation phase in the cycle – that’s usually around day 14 and then following a five-day cultivation of the embryos, the transfer usually around day 19 or 20 of the cycle. So, the most important visits of these four the ultrasounds pick up and transfer are stretched over a period of approximately two weeks but the whole process takes about a month.

Answer from: Santiago Eduardo Novoa, MD

Gynaecologist, specialised in Reproductive Medicine
Instituto iGin

There are a couple of stages in every IVF treatment that starts from the menstrual period. The first stage is ovarian stimulation. Once we have a good number of eggs, there is egg retrieval, then the last stage when we are going to fertilise the eggs and embryos need to be cultured for a couple of days and we arrive at the moment of transferring the embryos into the uterus. Once the embryos are transferred, we wait for 10-15 days, depending on the policy of each clinic and we can say that from the beginning of the menstrual cycle till the moment a patient is performing their first pregnancy test it goes more or less for 2-5weeks.

Answer from: Harry Karpouzis, MD, MRCOG, DIUE

Gynaecologist, Founder & Scientific Director
Pelargos IVF Medical Group

IVF treatment in total if we’re going through a fresh transfer lasts for about 18 days. What we say to couples coming from abroad is that if they want to do a whole process in Greece from the beginning to the end, they need to calculate it, so they need to be in Greece on the first day of the period, and they need to stay here for about 20 days. The ovary stimulation lasts for about 9 to 11 days, usually starting from the first day of the period. Egg collection happens 2 days later, 36 hours later, and then embryo transfer can happen 3 or 5 days until we reach the blastocysts stage.

Regarding how soon before starting the treatment, the couples from abroad needs to book the treatment, we usually suggest booking treatment a month before. We work on a very personalized basis to make sure they will be around for the whole process.

After booking a treatment, they need to have some initial tests ready, for example, blood tests. We will create a personalized, tailor-made protocol for them. Then the treatment can start even with the next period. The couples from abroad can choose to have the whole treatment in Greece or start their stimulation in their country of origin and then travel to Greece before the egg collection and stay until the time of the embryo transfer to minimize the duration of stay.

Answer from: Matthew Prior, PhD, MBBS

Gynaecologist, Reproductive Medical Consultant, Founder of The Big Fertility Project

Depends. There’s different core protocols or recipes you can use for IVF treatment. One’s called the long protocol, the other one’s called the short protocol. It’s called the long protocol because it takes longer so, if you have a long protocol, from the very first injection to doing a positive pregnancy test, you’re looking potentially about six or seven weeks all together. The shorter protocol or sometimes called an antagonist protocol, starts when a woman has their period and they would take injections two weeks later, have their collection and then do the pregnancy test two weeks after that so, that can be as short as about four weeks. So normally between about four, six or seven weeks is the average length of an IVF cycle.

Answer from: Elias Tsakos, MD, FRCOG

Gynaecologist, Medical Director

The pre-IVF testing and the qualification medical testing and assessment,  in my opinion, shouldn’t last longer than maybe 5 weeks.  During this time, the optimum results are obtained,  and of course, the protocol is designed for the best possible IVF process in your case. Once the protocol is starting,  this is usually lasting between 2 and 3 weeks, and following this time, we have the embryo transfer if we’re talking about the fresh embryo transfer.  Following this, the normal waiting time is about 2 weeks until the pregnancy test is confirmed, hopefully,  a good and successful pregnancy.  The overall time is in the origin of  5 weeks.  It is a period of testing and about 5 weeks for the IVF process. Then, waiting for the confirmation of the pregnancy test.

However, in a small proportion of own egg IVF cycles during which it is deemed necessary not to transfer on the first cycle, the wait can be a little longer after the egg collection, we freeze all the suitable top-quality embryos. We wait for 1 or 2 months before we do the frozen embryo transfer, either on a natural or a medicated cycle.  In those cases, the overall journey could be maybe 1 or 2 months longer.

About this question:

How long on average does it take to go through the IVF cycle from qualification to pregnancy confirmation?

Understanding the IVF process step-by-step can sometimes be challenging, especially when you are at the very beginning of your journey. The IVF process timeline can vary depending on each case, treatment protocol, and where it is undertaken. To better understand it and get the answers to questions like – What is the average time required to complete one IVF cycle? How long do you need to wait for the results? Have a look at what our fertility specialist said.

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