Latest Catalogue IVF

IVF

DEFINITION

IVF or In Vitro Fertilisation is a procedure where an egg is fertilised in a laboratory and the resulting embryo is then placed in the mother's uterus.


DESCRIPTION

IVF means, quite literally, 'fertilisation in a glass'. It involves harvesting eggs from the female parent and sperm from the male parent and incubating them in special conditions that allow Fertilisation to occur. These fertilised egg or embryos are then placed in the mother's uterus. IVF is a useful reproductive procedure for couples that are infertile as a result of: damage to their fallopian tubes (the narrow tubes that lead from the ovaries to the uterus), ovulation problems, endometriosis , abnormalities of the sperm (low sperm count, poor motility, poor morphology), immunological factor (antisperm antibodies in either partner) or idiopathic infertility (infertility of unknown cause).

In order to collect eggs from the female parent, drugs are given that stimulate her ovaries to release large numbers of eggs. These medications are often called 'fertility drugs' and they help to regulate her menstrual cycle and stimulate the development of higher-quality eggs. This process helps to ensure that a sufficient number of healthy eggs are available for Fertilisation. Ultrasound measurements and blood hormone levels are checked daily to carefully monitor the development of eggs, to determine the subsequent fertility drug dose and to time the retrieval of the mature eggs. The eggs are then removed under local anaesthetic and put with the woman's partner's sperm into a special container in a laboratory where - hopefully - the eggs will be fertilised. If this happens, one or more embryos are implanted in the woman's uterus so that a normal pregnancy can occur. This typically occurs about 72 hours after fertilisation.

This success of IVF procedures depends on the nature of the problem that is causing the infertility but, on average, a couple has a 30 per cent chance of having a baby with one attempt at pregnancy, using assisted reproductive technology.


TREATMENT OPTIONS

Always consult your Doctor for the diagnosis and management of infertility. Your Doctor must perform a number of steps in order to determine that a couple is infertile so they can then receive IVF treatment.