In Vitro Fertilizationis combing egg and sperm in the laboratory, outside the mother’s womb. It is used in cases where artificial insemination has proved ineffective in achieving pregnancy.
Fertilization can occur by conventional IVF or by ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection).
Who is it for?
- Patients in whom simpler previous treatments have failed, such as artificial insemination.
- Women with damaged or absence of fallopian tubes.
- Cases of severe endometriosis.
- Women with low egg quality.
- Couples where the male partner shows low quality semen in a sperm analysis
- Couples that need to perform PGD (Pre-implantation Diagnosis)
Using subcutaneous injections. Periodic ultrasound monitoring and blood tests are performed to control the egg maturity. The ideal would be to achieve maturation of about 8-10 eggs in order to have a good chance of success.
It is performed in the operating theatre, the patient is sedated, the egg collection is carried out by transvaginal ultrasound and usually lasts 10-15 minutes. Afterwards, the patient is discharged and relative rest for 24-48 hours is recommended at home.
It can be done in two ways depending on the case.
- Conventional IVF: each egg is placed on a culture plate along with several thousand sperm cells and fertilization is expected to occur in 24 hours.
- ICSI: In this case, our biologists individually select each sperm and using a very precise technique, inject a sperm into each egg.
After fertilization, the embryos remain in incubators that fully mimic the conditions under which the embryos would be found in the mother’s womb. Throughout the process, embryologists analyse their morphology and the number of cells to determine the quality of each embryo.
The embryo remains in these incubators for five or six days, until it reaches the blastocyst stage. At this stage of its development, it is possible to determine more precisely which embryos are of the highest quality and, therefore, those that offer the greatest potential for implantation and the best chance of achieving a successful pregnancy.
From the embryos that have reached the blastocyst stage, the best quality will be selected to be transferred to the maternal uterus. If there are more blastocysts of good quality, they will be vitrified to be used in subsequent cycles, if necessary, avoiding having to undergo ovarian stimulation again.
In embryo transfer, a special catheter is used to deposit the selected embryo inside the uterus. This catheter will be guided thanks to an ultrasound that will allow us to ensure that the embryo is deposited in the perfect location of the uterus. It is a simple and painless procedure, performed on an outpatient basis and does not require sedation. After the transfer, the patient can return to her normal life.
- Will I be able to lead a normal life during IVF treatment?
During the treatment you may have abdominal discomfort and a feeling of swelling, but the vast majority of patients can continue with their normal life. The only day that home rest is advised would be the day the egg collection, since this procedure requires the administration of sedation. The following day you can return to work with no problems whatsoever.
- If IVF is unsuccessful, how long do I have to wait to start a new treatment?
It has not been established that there are any benefits from leaving a period of time between IVF treatments. Therefore, once your period arrives after a negative pregnancy test, you can start a new IVF treatment or an endometrial preparation for a frozen embryo transfer should you have vitrified embryos (link to frozen embryo transfer) Obviously, before starting a new treatment, patients must have recovered both physically and psychologically, and it must be verified that there are no factors that indicate that we must carry out additional tests before making a new attempt.
- When does implantation occur? What should I do after the transfer?
Embryo implantation around 3 days after embryo transfer, so it is recommended that a normal lifestyle be continued but avoiding strenuous activity especially in the first days. In addition, it is vitally important that your medication schedule indicated by the gynaecologist is continued.
he success rates shown correspond to those of our headquarters in Marbella. The percentages presented in this section have been divided as follows:
eta-hCG positive: Extracted from the level of beta-hCG hormone (β-hcg) in blood 10 to 12 days after embryo transfer. This is the hormone produced by the body after the embryo implants in the uterus, making it an excellent indicator of the early existence of pregnancy.
Clinical Pregnancy: Around the fifth week of pregnancy the gestational sac appears, a small sac of about two millimetres that surrounds the embryo. Its presence on the first ultrasound is a good sign that the embryo has successfully implanted in the endometrium.
SEF (Spanish Fertility Society). is a scientific non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote studies related to fertility and assisted human reproduction. This organization publishes an annual report with different success rates in assisted reproduction treatments based on the results obtained by Spanish fertility clinics. The data shown here are from latest report published by the SEF.