TREATMENT WITH IN VITRO FERTILISATION (IVF)
At Ovoclinic we have high success rates for in vitro fertilisation.
Would you like to know more about this assisted reproduction treatment?
IN VITRO FERTILISATION: WHAT IS IT?
In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is an assisted reproduction treatment of high complexity. The IVF treatment involves the union between the egg and the sperm taking place in the laboratory, to create good quality embryos that can later be transferred into the uterus to give rise to a pregnancy.
The embryo resulting from this union will be implanted in the maternal uterus, thus facilitating both fertilisation and the survival rate of the embryo.
Within this treatment there are two variations. On one hand we have conventional IVF and on the other hand, ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection).
WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE OVOCLINIC FOR MY IVF TREATMENT?
We have high success rates with this assisted reproductive treatment. For example, our success rates for a positive beta-hCG test are 73% with transfer of two blastocysts and an average age of 36.8 years old.
We also have over 20 years of experience in high complexity assisted reproduction treatments, and a close and personal relationship with our patients.
WHO IS IT FOR?
- Patients in whom simpler previous treatments have failed, such as artificial insemination.
- Women with damaged or absence of fallopian tubes.
- Cases of severe endometriosis.
- Women with low egg quality.
- Couples where the male partner shows low quality semen in a sperm analysis
- Couples that need to perform PGD (Pre-implantation Diagnosis)
STEPS OF TREATMENT WITH IN VITRO FERTILISATION (IVF)
In a natural cycle, a woman’s body matures only one egg. With controlled ovarian stimulation we aim to mature several eggs, to be able to increase the probabilities of achieving an embryo to give rise to a pregnancy.
To achieve this, the future mother has to self-administer subcutaneous hormone injections – similar to those produced by her own body – so that multiple follicles grow and several eggs develop.
We perform regular ultrasound controls and blood tests to monitor the maturation of the eggs. This part of the treatment lasts for approximately twelve days.
Once the egg cells have matured, the egg retrieval is programmed. This simple procedure is performed in the operating theatre, under sedation, and doesn’t usually take more than ten or fifteen minutes.
Once finished, the patient will stay in the clinic, under observation, for approximately 2 hours, after which she can go home and rest for the remainder of the day.
A sperm sample will also be collected so that the egg cells can be fertilised.
This can be done in two ways, depending on the case.
- Conventional IVF: the union of the egg with the sperm takes place in a special glass dish. The egg is placed along with a drop of the prepared semen sample containing thousands of sperm cells, and 24 hours is allowed to pass so that fertilisation takes place in the most natural way.
- ICSI: In this case, our embryologist select individual sperm and, using a very precise technique, inject a sperm into each egg.
After fertilisation, the embryos are grown in incubators that mimic, as much as possible, the conditions that an embryo would find in the woman’s uterus. During this entire process, the embryologists carefully monitor the embryos, analysing their morphology and number of cells, to determine the quality of each embryo.
The embryos will stay in the incubator for five or six days, until they reach the blastocyst stage. In this developmental stage it is possible to determine with more precision, which are the best quality embryos, and as such, have the best potential to implant and give rise to a successful pregnancy.
The final and most important step of the in vitro fertilisation treatment. To perform the embryo transfer, the patient’s uterus must be prepared to ensure the endometrium is of the correct thickness to receive the embryo and achieve a pregnancy.
From all the embryos that have reached blastocyst stage, the best quality one will be selected for transfer into the maternal uterus. If there are more good quality blastocysts, they will be frozen for use in any future cycles that may be necessary, to avoid having to undergo a further round of ovarian stimulation.
A special catheter is used to transfer the selected embryo and place it into the uterus. This catheter will be guided by ultrasound, which allows us to place the embryo in the most suitable location in the uterus. It is a simple and painless procedure, performed on an outpatient basis and does not require any anaesthesia. After the transfer, the patient can return to her normal life.
HOW MUCH DOES IN VITRO FERTILISATION COST?
The price can vary, depending on the techniques employed in the treatment. We must also differentiate the origin of the eggs and sperm, as well as distinguish whether conventional fertilisation or IVF-ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) has been used.
WHAT IS THE PERCENTAGE SUCCESS RATE FOR IN VITRO FERTILISATION?
The success rate is between 70 – 80%, so the chances of achieving pregnancy are high.
Will I be able to lead a normal life during IVF treatment?
During the treatment you may have abdominal discomfort and a feeling of swelling, but the vast majority of patients can continue with their normal life. The only day that home rest is advised would be the day the egg collection, since this procedure requires the administration of sedation. The following day you can return to work with no problems whatsoever.
If IVF is unsuccessful, how long do I have to wait to start a new treatment?
It has not been established that there are any benefits from leaving a period of time between IVF treatments. Therefore, once your period arrives after a negative pregnancy test, you can start a new IVF treatment or an endometrial preparation for a frozen embryo transfer should you have vitrified embryos.
Obviously, before starting a new treatment, patients must have recovered both physically and psychologically, and it must be verified that there are no factors that indicate that we must carry out additional tests before making a new attempt.
When does implantation occur? What should I do after the transfer?
Embryo implantation around 3 days after embryo transfer, so it is recommended that a normal lifestyle be continued but avoiding strenuous activity especially in the first days. In addition, it is vitally important that your medication schedule indicated by the gynaecologist is continued.
WHAT DIFFERENCES ARE THERE BETWEEN IVF AND ARTIFICAL INSEMINATION?
Artificial insemination (AI) is a more economical treatment but is less effective. The probably of getting pregnant with AI is lower than that with IVF. If is not, or hasn’t been successful, IVF is the recommended treatment.
In artificial insemination, the eggs are not extracted from the woman and the fertilisation takes place in the uterus, as opposed to IVF where the fertilisation takes place in the laboratory under more precise conditions.