There are times when it is difficult for the sperm and egg to meet in the fallopian tube and the normal processes of fertilisation cannot take place in the body. In vitro fertilisation(IVF) offers an opportunity to avoid such problems by allowing fertilisation to occur outside the body in a glass dish(culture dish). Upto 3 of any resultant embryos can be replaced in the womb. Appropriate IVF can be done with donated eggs, sperm or embryos. Roughly, less than 2% of couples experiencing fertility problems choose IVF. If you decide to try IVF, you will first receive hormones (like a gonadotropin) to stimulate your ovaries in order to produce enough eggs for retrieval. Next, the eggs are harvested using aspiration (a type of suctioning device), which is guided by a transvaginal ultrasound.
Once the eggs are retrieved, they will then be mixed in a petri dish with a fresh semen sample from your partner or a donor and put into an incubator. After about two days, eggs that have been fertilized will be transferred back to your uterus. This can be done in the doctor's office but may require you to stay there for a few hours after the transfer.