In Vitro Fertilization – IVF
In vitro fertilization means fertilization of the oocytes outside the human body, in the laboratory. This method was started back in 1978, has helped thousands of couples to conceive their own children.
IVF and the related assisted conception methods are used when all other first line therapeutic methods, such as medical treatment for endometriosis, ovulation induction, intrauterine insemination or reproductive surgery, have failed.
Indications for IVF and related assisted conception methods are:
- Tubal factor
- Unexplained infertility
- Male infertility
- Cervical factor
- Hormonal irregularities
- Advanced maternal age
- Preimplantation diagnosis
During an IVF cycle, the female partner is pretreated with hormonal agents aiming in ovarian stimulation and growth of multiple oocytes.
Follicle growth is observed by performing sequential ultrasound scans. When follicles reach an adequate size (>18mm), human chorionic gonadotropin (b-hCG) is administered in order to induce final oocyte maturation.
After 35-36 hours, ultrasound guided oocyte collection is performed. The procedure is performed under conscious sedation. An anesthesiologist is present.
Oocytes are kept in a special clave for 4- 6 hours and then sperm is added for fertilization to occur. Fertilization is observed after 12- 18 hours. During the next few days, based on embryo progress, embryotransfer is scheduled. Embryotransfer is an easy and painless procedure.