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In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
In IVF the eggs are put together with the sperm in the laboratory to create embryos and transfer them into the woman´s uterus.
Prior to treatment the couple will need to undergo a complete examination that will allow us to choose the best treatment plan and guarantee the best results.
La FIV consta de diferentes etapas:
The eggs are collected by ultrasound guidance with a procedure called egg aspiration to remove the fluid in the follicles from the eggs.
Eggs are collected under general sedation to avoid patients any pain and discomfort during the procedure which usually takes a 20 minutes. after that it is necessary to stay under observation for a few hours before leaving the clinic.
The fluid collected during the procedure is sent to the laboratory where the eggs are removed and cultured until they are fertilized.
After egg retrieval the partner will be asked to produce a sperm sample. in some cases a testicular biopsy or donor sperm may be needed.
The sample will be treated in the laboratory to obtain viable sperm cells that will be used to fertilize the eggs either with insemination or icsi. this process is called sperm preparation.
Insemination / intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
There are two egg fertilization methods:
- Conventional insemination: the eggs and the sperm are put together in a dish with some little drops of medium culture
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection or icsi: a sperm is introduced into the egg. this is the technique used with a low sperm count and/or poor motility in order to ensure the fertilization.
Regardless of the method used not all the eggs may successfully be fertilized and produce embryos.
Fertilized eggs, known as pre-embryos or embryos, are kept for a few days in special containers where they will develop in a culture medium. embryo development requires a process of cell division by which the number of cells of the embryo will progressively increase.
The way an embryo develops will largely depend on their potential, i.e. if there are chromosomal abnormalities or defects in other parts of the cell.
Embryos which develop normally have more chances to implant and produce a pregnancy.
The embryologist will ensure the best culture conditions for embryo development. he will monitor the development of the embryos during the culturing and select the best ones – those with more potential of implantation- to be subsequently transferred or frozen. morphologically abnormal embryos will automatically be discarded.
Embryo transfer is the procedure by which the embryos are placed into a woman´s uterus. a thin catheter is passed through the cervix up to the uterine cavity where the embryos are squirted out of the catheter. The whole process is performed using ultrasound guidance to visualize the best location and smoothly place the embryos. there should be no pain, so general anaesthesia is exceptionally used. after lying back for a few minutes the woman will be able to leave the clinic.