Infertility treatment by IVF or ICSI
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
Eggs and sperms are collected and prepared beforehand. Then each egg is cultured together with a drop of semen in a culture dish in the laboratory. The sperm swim to the eggs on their own accord and fertilize them.
This method is suitable for:
- Idiopathic infertility reasons with good sperm quality
- Blocked or missing fallopian tubes
- Slightly reduced semen quality
ICSI – Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a special method of assisted reproductive technology in which a single sperm is injected directly into the previously extracted egg(s) of the woman in the laboratory.
This method is suitable if:
- Semen quality is so impaired that it can not fertilize the eggs with the help of IVF
- In case of fertilization failure after IVF
- if there is a low number of eggs/ suspicion of bad egg quality
Infertility treatment in general
The main goal during infertility treatment is to obtain a sufficient amount of good quality eggs for fertilization and treatment. The maturation phase of the egg starts with menstruation. Most of the time hormonal stimulation is started from the second or third day of the cycle to stimulate the maturation of several follicles. Your individual treatment and type of hormonal stimulation will be determined depending on your diagnosis, preliminary examinations and personal wishes (Please check also IVF Naturelle).
Follicular development is checked by means of ultrasound examination and hormone analyze. Usually, 3 to 4 doctor’s appointments for cycle monitoring are taking place until the exact time of egg retrieval can be determined.
If you have a longer journey to our clinic you can have the ultrasound examination and blood analysis performed by your gynecologist and send us the result by fax. However, the results of the examinations should be available by no later than 12pm so that we can plan your treatment correctly.
Egg retrieval (follicle puncture) and sperm delivery
Depending on the number of follicles that have grown in your ovaries, egg retrieval may take place with or without anesthesia (sedation). Please let us know your personal choices, then we can take them into account in for therapy planning. During egg retrieval (follicle puncture), the eggs will be aspirated from your ovaries under ultrasound by means of a thin needle via vagina. The follicular fluid will be examined directly in the IVF laboratory and the number of eggs (oocytes) collected is determined immediately. Usually the procedure takes about 10-20 minutes, depending on the number of the eggs which are expected. After egg retrieval, you will rest in your private room with us for about 2 hours if you had anesthesia. Your partner must be with you on the day of the egg retrieval so that he can provide semen for fertilization of the eggs. If your partner is traveling a lot for work, it is possible to freeze semen in advance and use the frozen samples for the treatment when needed.
Starting from the evening of egg retrieval progesterone capsules application (luteal hormones) vaginally is administered. The dose depends on the type of therapy that you will have.
Fertilization of the oocytes
After egg retrieval fertilization occurs in the Fertility Lab. The choice of method of fertilization depends on the different factors such as semen quality. If sperm quality is good, fertilization can be done using the IVF method.
Conventionally, sperm and eggs are put together in a petri dish and sperm swims freely to the egg and fertilizes it. Fertilization is about 50-60% in this method.
In case of impaired semen quality, fertilization is performed using an ICSI-Microscope to achieve an optimal chance of fertilization. In this method, sperm will be picked by a very fine needle under microscope and injected into each egg individually. This increases the fertilization rate to 80-90%.
One of our staff will call you personally the day after the egg retrieval to inform you about the fertilization of your egg(s). Please have your phone available and switched on.
Fertilization of the oocytes
Embryo transfer can take place 2-5 days after egg retrieval, depending on which treatment strategy is most appropriate for you.
The embryo transfer is similar to a gynecological examination and is not painful. On the day of the transfer you will be personally informed by one of our laboratory staff about the embryo quality.
Embryo(s) will be gently transferred into the uterus by means of a thin catheter. This procedure takes a few minutes which can be followed on the ultrasound monitor.
After embryo transfer you can relax in your own private relaxation room in our clinic. Pregnancy test takes place about two weeks after embryo transfer.
The implantation phase is the time period after the embryo transfer. During this period you should lead a relaxed life, rest and pamper yourself. Approximately 14 days after egg retrieval a pregnancy test is performed by checking your blood. Then we know if the treatment has been successful.
The success rates of fertility treatment are highly dependent on various factors such as the woman’s age, the reasons of infertility, and the type of therapy performed. Unfortunately the treatment success cannot be guaranteed as there a couples who will not get pregnant even after several embryo transfers.