Overview of Advanced Fertility Treatment – from a Denver Fertility Clinic
- Posted on: Jan 7 2013
Advanced Fertility Treatment
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a highly successful assisted reproductive technological procedure. During an IVF treatment cycle there are four basic steps:
1. Ovulation Induction
This is the step in which a woman begins taking fertility medications to encourage the development of eggs within the ovaries. The medications are designed to stimulate the follicles in order to produce more than one egg per cycle.
2. Egg Retrieval
The egg retrieval process is a minor surgical procedure that can be usually be performed on an outpatient basis. It typically takes about 15 minutes and requires intravenous sedation.
3. Fertilization and Embryo Development
The eggs retrieved through the egg retrieval process are placed in a petri dish with a special solution for several hours.
During the time that the eggs are in the solution, the male partner provides a semen sample. The sample is delivered to the laboratory where it undergoes a process known as ‘sperm washing.’ This process clean the semen sample and helps to remove dead sperm and other cells from the semen. The washed sperm are incubated and placed in the petri dish with the eggs or one sperm is injected directly into each available mature egg.
After about 18 hours, the eggs are examined. If fertilization occurs, then one or more resulting embryos are selected for transfer back to the woman’s uterus about 2-5 days later.
4. Embryo Transfer
While many of the conservative techniques of IVF are successful, additional fertility treatments may be added to a conventional IVF cycle. Some of the additional fertility treatments include:
Embryo freezing allows high quality embryos that are not immediately used for IVF to be frozen for later use by the couple.
More than half of all frozen embryos remain viable after thawing and can be used in subsequent IVF treatments. If the frozen embryos are no longer needed, they may be donated to research, donated to other women who are dealing with infertility or discarded.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
PGD allows embryos developed through IVF to be screened for any genetic disorders or conditions. A single cell or multiple cells are removed from each of the embryos and tested. Patients already at risk for passing on inherited genetic diseases or having a child with chromosomal abnormalities are provide great benefits with this procedure, by increasing the likelihood of delivering a healthy child.
There is a phase in embryo development during which the embryo must be released, or “hatched” from its hard outer covering. Infertility results when natural dissolution of the shell fails to occur. Assisted hatching can be performed using lasers, mechanical techniques or chemicals.
ICSI-Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection
When fertilization is expected to be below normal with an IVF cycle then Intracytoplamic sperm injection (ICSI) may be advised. ICSI is used for patients with male factor infertility, unexplained infertility or previous failed fertilization. Some patients chose to do ICSI as they do not want to risk having an IVF cycle with failed fertilization. With ICSI a single sperm is injected into an egg to allow fertilization to occur.
Posted in: Infertility Treatment