What is IVF?
IVF (in vitro fertilization) is a process by which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body in the lab. IVF is an infertility treatment where all the other assistend reproduction methods like ovulation induction or IUI have failed.
Who is suitable for IVF?
- Women with blocked tubes
- Women with endometriosis
- .Women who have tried other methods of assistend reproduction and failed
- Women with ovarian failure
- Couples with male factor infertility
- Women with a history of repeated miscarriages
What is the process?
- First consultation
The first consultation is very important as a full medical history will be taken by both partners and the treatment will be explained in great detail. A transvaginal ultrasound will be performed to check the uterus, the endometrium and the ovaries (antral follicle count).
- Hormonal treatment.
In IVF the woman receives hormonal therapy –gonadotrophins – in order to produce many eggs which are fertilized by partners sperm in the lab.
There are different IVF protocols depending on woman’s age, hormone levels and previous response in IVF treatments.
- Oocyte retrieval
The eggs are collected transvaginally with fine needle using ultrasound guidance under light sedation. The woman doesn’t feel any pain and she can return to her daily activities after 2 hours.
After the egg collection in classic IVF the eggs are mixed with the sperm in the laboratory under controlled conditions to promote fertilization. The next day we check how many embryos have resulted from the fertilization process and day 2 or 3 or 5 (blastocyst stage) we transfer the embryos in the uterus.
If the quality of the sperm is low the method of choice for fertilization is ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). With this method we inject a single sperm inside the oocyte instead of using the whole sperm for fertilization.
12-14 days after embryo transfer the woman has a pregnancy test (BHCG). We dont recommend a urine test. If the pregnancy test is positive an ultrasound should be performed 2 weeks later. The woman continues the medication she is given after the embryo transfer usually until the 12th week