IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)
Conventional in-vitro fertilization – IVF involves the incubation of mature egg and sperm cells in a laboratory dish in order to allow fertilization to take place.
Because the success rate of an IVF procedure is dependent on the number of mature egg cells available, most female patient undergo hormonal stimulation (Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation (COH) – (1)) in order to produce an optimal number of oocytes.
On the same day in which the mature eggs are retrieved (Egg Retrieval– (2)), the male partner has to produce a semen sample (Semen Sample Collection – (3)), although the procedure can be done with frozen sperm as well. The sample is subsequently processed in order to dispose of any cell debris or non-functional sperm cells and concentrated in order to increase the number of sperm introduced into the uterus.
Once the egg cells are isolated and the semen sample is processed, they are both transferred into a special type of Petri dish, to allow in vitro fertilization – IVF (In-vitro Fertilization – (4)). The fertilized oocytes (embryos) are grown in carefully controlled laboratory conditions until they are ready to be transferred into the female patient’s uterus (Embryo Transfer – (5)). During their development in the laboratory (day 2 – day 6), the embryos are monitored and their development is evaluated daily in order to select the highest quality embryos for transfer. All remaining viableembryos can be frozen for later use.