In Vitro Fertilization – IVF was developed more than 30 years ago and has since been the most common ART (Assisted Reproduction Technique). It was initially considered a treatment of choice for tubal factor infertility but subsequently expanded to include PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). Today IVF is used for unexplained infertility, advancing maternal age, repeated trials of conservative treatments, ovarian failure, and anti-sperm antibodies.
This is a sequential process, requiring harvest of oocytes from the woman’s ovary and receiving ovarian stimulation through medication. Stimulation is given during menstrual cycles to yield more eggs and increase the chances for fertilization. It is monitored carefully via ultrasound and blood tests. Approximately 9 to 14 days into the cycle, Ovum Pick Up (OPU) is performed under general anesthesia. Egg – Oocyte collection is followed by sperm collection. Then the eggs are placed in a special medium where sperms are introduced to induce fertilization.
The fertilization takes about 16 to 18 hours and after this the fertilized eggs – now called embryos are tested for quality and kept in special condition. After two three days, the embryos which have are sound in quality and eligible are planted in the uterus. Sometimes when there is a need of extended culture – blastocyst culture, the embryos are cultured for five to six days before implantation. And in cases of cryopreservation, the embryos are frozen in a cryo-bank.
In case the embryo development is improper, laser assisted hatching is used along with IVF. Zona – outer embryo lining, protects the embryo from poly-sperm induction, but when it is too thick and does not let the sperm enter, laser assisted hatching is used. In some cases when patients are unable to produce proper elements, donor eggs or sperms are used in the process.