In order for pregnancy to occur, an egg has to be released from the ovary and unite with a sperm. Normally this union, called fertilization, occurs within the fallopian tube, which joins the uterus (womb) to the ovary. However, in IVF the union occurs in a laboratory after eggs and sperm have been collected. Embryos are then transferred to the uterus to continue growth.
Who are the Candidates for IVF Treatment?
Both fallopian tubes are absent or blocked due to surgery or tubal pregnancy) or infection (STD, or Tuberculosis) Endometriosis Reduced sperm count or motility (IVF can be normally performed for counts which are more than 5 million per ml. For counts less than 5 million per ml. ICSI is a better option.) Patients where all other treatments such as ovulation induction with intra uterine insemination have proven unsuccessful.
Patients with unexplained infertility where all the investigations performed on the couple are normal, but who still do not conceive with routine treatments.
What is the Procedure for an IVF Treatment?
There are five major steps in the IVF and embryo transfer sequence:
- Monitor the development of ripening egg(s) in the ovaries
- Collection of eggs
- Obtaining the sperm
- Putting the eggs and sperm together in the laboratory, and providing correct conditions for fertilization and early embryo growth
- Transferring the embryos into the uterus
To control the timing of egg ripening and to increase the chance of collecting substantial number of eggs, fertility drugs are prescribed according to each individual case. Before dertemining the egg retreival schedule, we perform an ultrasound of the ovaries to check the development of eggs and a blood/urine test to measure hormone levels.