What is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the insemination of eggs that are retrieved from the female, with the sperm that is collected from the male, and process them in the laboratory. Then, fertilized eggs are kept for 2-3 days in incubators. After that, the embryos that developed in good conditions are transferred into the womb.
What Are the Steps of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?
First, we wash the eggs that we retrieve from the female, and place them into special fluids for fertilization and embryo development. In the laboratory, the team washes the semen produced by the male to remove the seminal fluid. This enables them to clean most of the dead or immotile sperm, and to concentrate the good quality sperm. The number, motility and morphology (shape) of the sperm are the important factors that we consider. Sperm is brought to a concentration per egg and added into the fluid that contains the eggs.
The day after (16-18 hours later) collection, we examine the eggs under the microscope for assessment of fertilization, and transfer those that have had naturally occurring fertilization into a new dish with fresh solution. Tracing cleavage goes on for 2-3 days, and we score the quality of embryos. After selecting one or two of the best embryos, the doctor transfers them into the uterus. We may also freeze remaining embryos with good quality after obtaining informed consent from the couple.
Who Can Get In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?
There are certain criteria in IVF, and sperm and oocyte qualities should meet certain standards. In the cases with low sperm count or poor morphology (shape) alongside poor oocyte quality, fertilization can be compromised or even not be able to occur at all. Therefore, it is necessary to apply IVF to couples with good sperm and oocyte quality.
Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is one of the most widely used insemination methods in assisted conception treatments. It is simply the injection of a single sperm cell into one egg. ICSI is especially useful in cases with low sperm count, or poor sperm morphology. Additionally, the usage of ICSI in cases where conventional IVF resulted in poor fertilization is common. Since ICSI is an easy technique and results in high fertilization rates, it is widely used in clinics around the world.
Under normal circumstances, sperm penetrates the egg membrane by the aid of its motility and certain organelles (structures). This fertilization procedure enables us to select healthy sperm while we can eliminate those with abnormal genetic content. During ICSI however, the embryologists select the healthy sperm, so the selection of unhealthy sperm is eliminated.
Who Can Get ICSI?
Cases with previously failed IVF attempts, people with low sperm count, and/or poor sperm morphology or motility, as well as those with poor egg quality may benefit from ICSI. First trial cases where sperm or the egg does not display any structural or physiological abnormality may also try conventional IVF.
ICSI (Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection) process
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