The way to pregnancy

Step 1. In the first half of the cycle, FSH stimulates growth of a tiny bubble in the ovary (a follicle), which containes an eg (oocyte). The cells of the follicle produce female hormones (oestrogens) that in their turn stimulate growth of the endometrium (Fig. 2).

Step 2. As soon as the oocyte matures, an LH surge causes rupture of the follicle (ovulation). This normally happens on the 14th-16th day of the cycle. The follicle breaks open and the oocyte ready for fertilization moves into the fallopian tube. The resulting follicle structure is called the corpus luteum (yellow body) which produces progesterone. Progesterone prepares the uterus for a potential conception.

Step 3. The oocyte moves via the fallopian tube into the uterus. It is in the fallopian tube that the oocyte is fertilized. Only one male cell (spermatozoon) reaching the oocyte can get through its membrane.

Genetic material of the mother and father merge together creating a new life. At this moment a so called zygote is created and embryo development starts.

Step 4. The process of first cell divisions takes place while the embryo moves into the uterus. It comes out of the oocyte membrane just before reaching the uterus.

Step 5. On the 6th-8 th day after fertilization, the embryo reaches the uterus and starts growing into endometrium, which is rich in nutrients. This pricess is called implantation.

The embryo, and later the placenta, produce hormones which are the first to support the pregnancy. If no fertilization took place or the embryo couldn’t reach the uterus, the endometrium is shed during menstruation and the cycle starts from the beginning.

Even if the hormones successfully act in sequence, the conception is not a simple process. The conception rate per mesntrual cycle is below 20% for unguarded sexual intercourse in young healthy couples. The causes of such a low percentage are different. For example, oocyte maturation or hormone interaction can be disturbed, fertilization might not be successful because the time was not appropriate, etc., or the embryo division can go wrong, thus it can not implant to the uterus. Therefore, we can talk about infertility only if a couple has not achieved pregnancy within 12 months of unguarded sexual intercourse or longer.

“…When I left the clinic and walked down the Nevsky Prospect I knew I was pregnant — and the feeling was right! 9 month after her visit at the AVA Clinic Alexander was born!”

Ewa and Sten

“Three times I went to Russia to pick up some eggs. Six embryos tested by PGS and one was good ))) This little embryo was born when I was 44 and the egg they used was from me when I was 43…”

Susanne

"...If I would have known at the start, what I know now, I would not have done my IVF-attempts at my age as egg donation gave us result straight away. It was the best decision of our lives!"

Karin and Pedro, Sweden


Having questions? Ask our doctors now!

A blog by Tone Bråten

A blog — to help you on your journey to become parents!

Our patients tell their stories



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