In-Vitro Fertilisation – An Overview

10:44 22nd May 2014 | In-Vitro Fertilisation

IVF In-Vitro Fertilisation Low Sperm Count Ovulation Problems Ovaries ICSI Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection Conceive Azoospermia Blastocysts

In-vitro fertlisation (IVF) means fertilisation “in glass” or outside the body. Typically the woman is given drugs to stimulate her ovaries to produce a lot of eggs, more than she ordinarily would in her natural cycle, which are collected by ultrasound guidance and fertilized with the man’s sperms outside the body. This process may be simple (conventional IVF) or require additional micromanipulation and injection of the sperm directly into the egg in a process called intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) when the sperms are abnormal. The product of IVF is an embryo which is transferred into the woman’s womb and the hope is that the embryo would implant; develop and grow into a healthy pregnancy and a healthy newborn.

IVF is essential for any couple;

  • who have been trying to conceive for more than 3 years regardless of the cause; with tubal factors contributing to their infertility
  • where the man has a low sperm count and/or other abnormal semen parameters and has failed to conceive in the last 3 years (this may be reduced to 18 months if the woman is also over the age of 34 years)
  • the woman has ovulation problems which are refractory to successful ovulation induction after a period of 12 months
  • where the man has no sperm in his ejaculate (azoospermia) and older women requiring treatment with donated eggs.

The chances of success with IVF have improved over the years with advancement in technology. These advancements are hinged on dynamic techniques of ovarian stimulation; good culturing techniques which lead to the development of high grade embryos specifically blastocysts. Blastocysts are the stage of the embryo on their fifth day of development.

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