In vitro fertilization (IVF)
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a form of assisted reproduction where the eggs from the woman are extracted under anesthetic and placed in a culture dish with thousands of sperm, (or ICSI, see below) allowing the process of fertilization to take place outside the body. The resulting embryos are grown in the laboratory over 2 – 5 days before being transferred back into the woman’s uterus increasing the chance that a pregnancy will occur.
The process of fertilization take place over a few hours and a number of embryos can form.
At Spring Creek Fertility, we usually grow embryos in the laboratory for 3-5 days.
Fertilized embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus in a simple procedure call an embryo transfer (a very similar technique to a pap smear).
If more than one embryo develop, we can freeze those that are surplus for use in subsequent cycles.
Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) differs from conventional in vitro fertilization (IVF) in that the embryologist selects a single sperm to be injected directly into an egg, instead of fertilization taking place in a dish where many sperm are placed near an egg.
Is ICSI for me?
ICSI enables fertilization to happen when there are very few sperm available.
The clinic may recommend ICSI if:
- you have a very low sperm count
- other problems with the sperm have been identified, such as poor morphology (abnormal shape) or poor motility (not moving normally)
- during previous attempts at IVF there was failure of fertilization or an unexpectedly low fertilization rate
- you need sperm to be collected surgically from the testicles or epididymis (a narrow tube inside the scrotum, where sperm are stored and matured); for example because you have had a vasectomy, you do not ejaculate sperm, or because you have extremely low sperm production
- you are using frozen sperm in your treatment which is not of optimum quality
- You are using embryo testing.