In Vitro Fertilization also known as IVF is a technique of assisted reproductive technology for infertility treatment. In vitro Fertilization (IVF) involves putting the eggs and sperm together outside the human body, by natural selection the egg will usually allow only one sperm to enter and this leads to the fertilization process in the laboratory.
After fertilization, the embryo are allowed to grow for a short period of time before being implanted it in a woman’s uterus. A successful pregnancy can be confirmed about 2 week later. IVF treatment is one of the most common and effective techniques available for improving the chances of pregnancy in women.
IVF can be used to treat infertility with the following patients :
- Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes : The damage or blockage in tubes makes it difficult for an egg to be fertilized or for an embryo to travel to the uterus.
- Male Infertility : Men with low sperm concentration, weak movement of sperm (poor mobility), or abnormalities in sperm size and shape can make it difficult for sperm to fertilize an egg.
- Unexplained infertility : One in six couples suffers infertility problems and sometimes the causes remain unknown despite investigation.
- Ovulation disorders : mean when ovulation fails to occur and are present in up to 20 percent of infertile couples.
- Premature ovarian failure : also known as premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) is the loss of function of the ovaries before age 40.
- Endometriosis : Endometriosis occurs when the lining of the uterus (womb) grows starts to outside of the uterus.
The basic steps involved in the IVF treatment and embryo transfer :
Preparing the Ovaries for Stimulation : Fertility medications are prescribed to suppress your natural menstrual cycle for about two weeks. After this, a patient is given fertility drugs to stimulate egg production. Multiple eggs are preferred because some eggs will not build up or fertilize after retrieval. Transvaginal ultrasound is used to study the ovaries, and blood test samples are taken to confirm hormone levels.
Collection of eggs : For the egg collection, a minor surgical procedure is carried that uses ultrasound imaging and involves a needle being inserted through the vagina and into each ovary. The eggs are then collected through the needle. In some cases, medication is provided to reduce and remove potential discomfort.
Fertilization of Eggs : The male partner is required to produce a sample of sperm, which is prepared for combining with the eggs. The collected eggs are mixed together with your partner’s or the donor’s sperm and stored in a laboratory to encourage fertilization. In some cases, if male partner has low sperm count, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be used. Through this procedure, a single sperm is injected directly into the egg in an attempt to achieve fertilization. The fertilised eggs (embryos) continue to grow in the laboratory for one to five days before being transferred back into the uterus.
Embryo Transfer : The best appearing embryos are selected for transfer. The physician will pass a catheter or small tube through the cervix into the uterus to transfer the embryos. This procedure usually does not require anesthesia, though some women may experience mild cramping, however, the patient usually leaves the office after a short recovery period. If the procedure is successful, implantation usually occurs around six to ten days following egg retrieval.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is an advanced form of in vitro fertilization procedure that helps to treat sperm-related issues. Male infertility is much complex than the female one and there are various parameters that need to be looked into. That is why, ICSI treatment has helped for so many couples that help a successful fertilization to occur. In ICSI treatment procedure, a single sperm is directly injected into an egg.
Our doctors use special tools and equipment to perform activities like picking up the best sperms and inserting them in the egg. Both activities are very critical, delicate and complicated. The sperms are injected to the core of the eggs and the process requires very high precision and perfection. We have an average ICSI success rate of 60% compared to 45% ICSI success rates globally.
IVF using ICSI method is more successful as compared to IVF using the other methods. The reason is simple, in case of ICSI, the woman is more fertile, the age is relatively less, the overall health and fitness is better and the average quality and quantity of eggs is better. Success rate is obviously higher because of these reasons.