In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)/Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
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 having embryos tested
Egg Retrieval is a process in which a reproductive endocrinologist removes eggs from your ovaries in order to create embryos for implantation or to freeze for fertilization at a later date.
During this outpatient procedure, you will be very lightly sedated, as the reproductive endocrinologist uses ultrasound to guide a needle that draws fluid and the egg from each follicle, the microscopic water balloon-like structures in your ovaries. Prior to this procedure, you may be given fertility medication to stimulate follicle growth.
Before the procedure
- Day prior: Do not take medications. Let us know if you have concerns about skipping a particular medicine.
- Evening prior: You may eat dinner. Drink plenty of fluids.
- After midnight: Do not eat (including breath mints and candy), drink, or chew gum. If you brush your teeth, do not swallow any water.
- Do not wear any fragrance, including scented deodorant and lotion.
- Arrive one hour before your appointment.
- If your eggs will be fertilized after retrieval and we do not have sperm in storage, your partner will be asked to provide a sample.
You will show ID and complete labels for the samples’ containers.
During the procedure
- An anesthesiologist will administer a sedative via IV.
- The reproductive endocrinologist will insert an ultrasound probe to transmit an image of your uterus onto a computer screen.
- The reproductive endocrinologist will pass a needle through the vaginal wall into your follicles to extract fluid and eggs.
After the procedure
- You will be drowsy from the anesthesia and should arrange for transportation.
- You might have spotty bleeding for 2-3 days.
- Slowly resume your diet over the next 24 hours.
- Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain.
- The doctor will let you know how many embryos we were able to create.
- You will schedule a date for your embryo transfer.
- Continue to take your progesterone and your steroid.