In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a well-established technique for creating embryos by fertilizing the egg with the sperm in a laboratory. The resulting embryo(s) can then be transferred to the woman’s uterus. The fertilisation process can be carried out using a conventional IVF technique or by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
In vitro fertilisation using semen from the couple is recommended for:
In vitro fertilisation using semen from a donor is recommended for:
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Ovarian stimulation during IVF consists of the administration of daily injections which cause the ovaries, instead of producing a single ovum which is what they do each month naturally, to create more oocytes so that a more significant number of embryos can be obtained.
The treatment is performed in assisted reproduction clinics, and it takes between 10 to 20 days, depending on the stimulation protocol chosen. Our health professionals will indicate the type of medication and appropriate dosages for each woman, based on each case. The patient will self-administer daily injections which contain hormones. During the process, follicle tracking through transvaginal ultrasound scans will be performed, and serum levels in the blood are also measured to control ovarian follicular growth and maturation.
When our health professionals have evidence through the ultrasound scans that the follicles have reached an adequate size, and they consider that there are a suitable number of oocytes, a follicular puncture is scheduled 36 hours after, administering an injection of hCG hormone that causes the oocytes to mature in a similar way to the way they would in a natural cycle.
Puncture is carried out in the operating theatre under light sedation so our patients wouldn’t feel any kind of discomfort during the procedure, which lasts approximately 15 minutes.
The patient attends the clinic to undergo egg retrieval under light sedation to prevent discomfort. The procedure takes 15 minutes and involves a gynaecologist, an embryologist and an anaesthetist.
Once we have the oocytes after follicular puncture, and the spermatozoa, which are normally obtained from a semen sample from the male partner, insemination of the ova begins.
This process can be performed via conventional IVF, which involves placing an oocyte surrounded by spermatozoa in a culture plate, or else via ICSI, which consists of inserting a live spermatozoon into the oocyte by puncturing the latter with the aid of a pipette.
The resulting embryos are observed in the laboratory day after day and are classified according to their morphology and their ability to divide. Some embryos can become blocked in their development, and these will be discarded as they are considered to be non-viable.
Fertilisation can be carried out by two methods: conventional IVF, which consists of placing the eggs in contact with sperm in a petri-dish and ICSI, which consists of microinjection of the sperm directly into the mature egg with the help of a pipette.
Transfer involves inserting the best embryos into the mother’s uterus with the help of a specially designed cannula. The procedure is carried out in an operating theatre, although in this case it is not necessary to use sedation since it is a quick and painless procedure.
Once the embryo transfer has been made, we vitrify the remaining good quality embryos so that they can be used in a later cycle without the need for further ovarian stimulation.