In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

IVF is an acronym for in vitro fertilization (‘in vitro‘ meaning ‘in glass’). This is often used when a male partner’s sperm is put into the female’s eggs in a laboratory to produce embryos.

  • The woman’s hormone production is temporarily switched off using medication, this enables us to control egg production and release. This is known as down regulation.
  • The ovaries are stimulated with hormone injections to produce eggs. This is monitored using ultrasound scans.
  • When the follicles reach the right size, and the uterus lining is of the correct thickness, the eggs are collected from the female.
  • The eggs and sperm (produced by the partner on the day of egg collection) are placed together in a laboratory dish to allow fertilisation and embryo growth to occur.
  • The embryo is placed in the female’s uterus – usually on the second, third or the fifth day after egg collection when the fertilised egg has divided and contains two to eight cells. A day five transfer is known as blastocyst transfer.

We estimate 10% of cycles being cancelled before the planned egg collection because the response to stimulation is excessive and the risk of hyperstimulation syndrome (known as Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, or OHSS) is substantial or because the response to ovarian stimulation is poor.

Indications for IVF Treatment

  • Tubal damage
  • Bilateral salpingectomy (Both tubes have been surgically removed)
  • Endometriosis
  • Male infertility
  • Idiopathic infertility
  • Immunological infertility
  • Failure of IUI treatment
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