What is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?

What is In Vitro Fertilization
and what does it consist of?

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the most common assisted reproduction technique used in fertility clinics. We speak of In Vitro Fertilization when we refer to the technique used to fertilize the egg with the sperm, since it is performed in the laboratory on a culture plate and outside the woman’s body.

There are two types of IVF: conventional and ICSI. In conventional in vitro fertilization, the oocyte is deposited together with the sperm in a culture dish so that the sperm fertilizes the egg in a natural way. This technique is used when the semen quality is good. While in ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) it is the embryologist who selects and microinjects the sperm into the egg. It is used when the semen sample is of low quality. The embryologist will select the sperm with the highest potential.

Our common goal is to obtain quality embryos, for this the patient begins a process of controlled ovarian stimulation to ensure an adequate number of eggs to fertilize. Once mature, these eggs are extracted by ovarian puncture and fertilized in the laboratory with the semen of the couple or an anonymous donor. In the laboratory, the embryos are monitored until they reach the right moment of maturation to be transferred to the mother’s uterus, and then implantation will take place until the long-awaited pregnancy is achieved.

We give great importance to the study and preparation of each patient’s endometrium. With these guidelines we have demonstrated that finding out what the best moment to transfer the best embryo is allows us to increase the chances of achieving pregnancy. In our fertility treatments we try to get as close as possible to the natural steps of human reproduction, but optimizing each process to enhance the result.

In Vitro Fertilization offers greater pregnancy rates compared to other fertility treatments such as Artificial Insemination or Directed Intercourse. That is why it must be your fertility specialist who, thanks to each patient’s personal evaluation and the correct diagnosis, will advise you and accompany you in selecting the most adequate treatment for you.

Types of In Vitro Fertilization:

  • IVF with your own egg and your partner’s sperm.
  • IVF with your own egg and semen from anonymous donor.
  • IVF with anonymous donor egg and your partner’s sperm (Egg donation).
  • IVF with egg and sperm from anonymous donors (Double Donation).
  • IVF with egg from the couple and semen from anonymous donor (ROPA method).

For whom is in vitro fertilization indicated?

This technique is recommended for:

  • Multiple failed attempts at Artificial Insemination.
  • Repeated miscarriages.
  • Endometriosis, blocked or absent fallopian tubes.
  • Mild or severe male infertility.
  • Low ovarian reserve.
  • Single mother by choice.
  • Patients with the indication to perform Preimplantational Genetic Test.

How is the In Vitro
Fertilization process?

The following is a step-by-step description of an in vitro fertilization treatment:

1. First contact to evaluate your case and design the best therapeutic plan: You tell us your availability and we arrange everything so as to avoid any unnecessary stress in your day to day.

2. Ovarian stimulation: The goal of the IVF treatment is to obtain the highest number of eggs possible. For this purpose, ovarian stimulation is performed, with the daily administration of hormones through subcutaneous injections, to enhance follicular growth. This first phase usually lasts between 10 and 14 days during which we do an ultrasound follow-up of your ovarian response. Once we observe by ultrasound that the follicles have reached an adequate size, we induce ovulation with a final injection of the hormone bHCG and schedule the date for your ovarian puncture.

3. Punción ovárica: Es una intervención sencilla y rápida (unos 15 min) que se realiza bajo una leve sedación para evitar que sientas cualquier molestia. Durante la punción extraemos mediante una ligera aspiración el líquido folicular que contienen tus folículos donde se encuentran los ovocitos que se han desarrollado durante ese ciclo. Se realiza mediante ecografía transvaginal y no requiere hospitalización, por lo que la recuperación es rápida y podrás retomar tu vida normal.

4. Fertilization and embryo development: The mature oocytes obtained during the puncture are fertilized in the laboratory (with sperm from the couple or a donor) to obtain embryos. As a general rule, fertilization is performed using the ICSI technique of sperm microinjection to increase the fertilization rate. The embryos obtained are kept under observation in the laboratory incubators until they reach the blastocyst stage (day 5 or 6 of embryonic development).

5. Embryo transfer: Embryo transfer is preferably performed on the 5th day of embryo development, thus increasing implantation rates. It is a simple procedure, which consists of depositing the selected embryo in the patient’s uterus, without the need for any type of anesthesia. Embryo selection follows very strict quality criteria in order to achieve pregnancy in the fewest number of attempts possible.

6. Betawait: After the transfer, you will be able to resume a normal life, following our recommendations in some daily aspects. We will give you the results after approximately two weeks of waiting.

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