In-Vitro fertilization (IVF) involves combining of the egg and the sperm cells in vitro or within the laboratory. On fertilization, the embryos are transferred to the mother’s womb and the pregnancy is carried to full term. It is performed in cases of infertility due to blocked or damaged Fallopian Tubes, cervical factor infertility, endometriosis, male factor infertility immunological infertility or infertility due to unexplained causes.
To increase chances of pregnancy, we have fine-tuned each step of the IVF process
- Usage of several different medications to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs.
- Usage of vaginal ultrasound to collect eggs from the ovaries. This is performed under the effect of light anesthesia.
- Fertilization is done while in culture by combining the sperm and egg.
- Usage of a small thin catheter to place the embryo(s) into the uterus.
In a typical IVF procedure, the oocytes retrieved from the ovaries are inseminated with the sperm four to six hours later. The oocytes are examined after approximately 16-20 hours to check if fertilization has occurred. On successful fertilization, embryo culture is done for the next 48-96 hours. After 3 or 5 days of the egg retrieval, healthy embryos are selected and transferred to the uterus using a small bore catheter that is inserted through the cervical canal into the uterus.
The Most Common Treatment for Infertility
Though initially IVF was introduced as a treatment method for women with blocked, damaged or no fallopian tubes, it is now the most effective treatment for couples with infertility. Now it is widely used in the treatment of infertility due to endometriosis, an ovulatory factor infertility, uterine factor infertility and unexplained infertility.
It is also a popular choice among couples with mild or moderate male factor infertility. During IVF, the fertilization process can be monitored and the quality of the embryo assessed. This helps provide an insight into the various possible causes of infertility and ways to overcome them.
IVF and Micromanipulation Technologies
In case of severe male factor infertility, ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) may be used along with IVF to maximize the chances of a successful pregnancy.