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IVF - In vitro fertilisation is a process of fertilisation in vitro, which, in Latin, means “in glass”.

In vitro fertilization

The IVF process involves combining an egg with sperm outside the body.

At first, a woman's ovulatory process is stimulated by hormones in order to induce the production of several egg cells (oocytes). Next, the egg cells are retrieved by ultrasound-guided technique called OPU (oocyte pick up) and placed in a laboratory dish (“in vitro”) to be fertilised by the sperm of the male partner or a sperm donor. This is followed by the embryo transfer back into the mother’s uterus.

IVF may be used to overcome female infertility due to the following factors:

  • Problems with the fallopian tubes
  • Ovulation disorders
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Premature ovarian failure

A successful IVF requires:

  • A healthy oocyte
  • Sperm capable of fertilisation
  • Uterus capable of healthy pregnancy

The IVF Method:

To increase the chances of successful IVF, additional techniques that are routinely used in the IVF process, such as:

Ovarian hyperstimulation in order to induce the production of multiple eggs

Typically, only one mature oocyte is produced during ovulation in each cycle. In order to induce the production of several oocytes, hormonal stimulus is necessary. There are three main protocols available for hormonal stimulation: SHORT PROTOCOL, LONG PROTOCOL, and ANTAGONIST PROTOCOL. In each case, it is always the doctor who determines what protocol is to be used.

Egg retrieval

The eggs are retrieved from the patient’s ovaries using the “ovum pick up” (OPU) procedure, which involves short, general anaesthesia.

Fertilisation and embryo culture

After a short co-incubation, the eggs are fertilised by sperm. On the next day, it is checked whether the egg was successfully fertilised.

The process of embryo culture takes 5 days. This leads to a better selection of high-quality embryos and increases the chances of successful fertilisation.

Embryo transfer (ET)

In the embryo-transfer stage, 1 or 2 embryos are transferred into the woman’s uterus. The number to be transferred depends on the woman’s age and the number of previous attempts.

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