What is In Vitro Fertilization?
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a highly advanced technique that involves the careful monitoring of a woman’s ovarian response to ovulation-induction medication. A simple outpatient surgical procedure is performed under anesthesia with an ultrasound-directed aspiration needle to retrieve egg(s) for fertilization. Fertilization involves using a sperm sample to fertilize an egg in a controlled laboratory setting called Intracyctoplasmic Sperm Injection. The fertilized embryo is then allowed some time to grow and mature in an embryo culture for three to five days before it is transferred to the patient.
Determining a proper plan of action is critical to ensuring that patients receive positive outcomes when it comes to IVF. The two most common strategies when it comes to IVF are modified natural cycle IVF and controlled ovarian hyperstimulation. During your IVF consultation with our faculty, we will help you determine which strategy is most appropriate for you. Modified natural cycle IVF involves daily injections of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) to help supplement the natural FSH released by our anterior pituitary gland. This helps the eggs to mature properly and develop into a healthy and viable egg during a woman’s natural one month cycle. Another option involves using medication to stimulate the growth of multiple follicles that are later collected during a minor surgical procedure called an egg retrieval or egg aspiration. This helps improve pregnancy rates amongst patients per ovulation as multiple eggs are given a chance to implant as opposed to the normal one egg that is released during a woman’s natural cycle. Some of the many medications used to stimulate the growth of follicles in this procedure include Clomid, Follistim, Gonal F, Lupron, Estrace, and Provera.
Intracyctoplasmic Sperm Injection
Intracyctoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is used to assist fertilization. ICSI is an effective way to insert thousands of sperm into an egg for fertilization in a culture dish. The sperm is inserted with a sharp needle into the cytoplasm of the egg under meticulous microscope guidance. The culture dish is kept in an incubator overnight then examined and monitored closely under a microscope to find signs of fertilization. There is an average 70% success rate of fertilization regardless of the severity of the sperm.