In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
On day 14 of a normal menstrual cycle, an egg is released from the ovary in a process called ovulation. The egg goes into the fallopian tube where it is fertilized. After remaining in the tube for several days, the egg develops into an embryo, which enters the uterus and implants into the endometrium (uterine lining). With in vitro fertilization, the sperm does not have to travel to the fallopian tube to fertilize the egg.
IVF is an advanced reproductive technology (ART) process first used successfully in England in 1978. In the beginning, IVF was only used to treat infertility related to blocked fallopian tubes. Now, IVF has evolved to be an effective treatment for many causes of infertility. IVF can be used when other treatments fail, and many fertility clinics now report a 50% success rate using IVF.
Indications for IVF
Many diagnoses lead a couple to undergo IVF. The most common indications for IVF include:
- Male factor infertility
- Fallopian tube damage
- Tubal ligation
- Advanced maternal age
- Recurrent pregnancy loss
- Genetic abnormalities
- Unexplained infertility
The IVF Procedure
With the IVF process, the ovaries are stimulated using certain medications so they mature multiple eggs. Vaginal ultrasounds and blood testing is done to monitor the development of the eggs. Once eggs are mature, they are removed from each ovary using a minor surgical procedure. Once retrieved, the eggs are placed into a petri dish and exposed to the male partner’s sperm. After several days, the egg cells divide and become embryos. After determining which embryos are viable and of high-quality, the embryos are placed into the woman’s uterus using a small catheter inserted through the cervix. Extra embryos are frozen (cryopreserved) for later use.
The IVF laboratory procedures involved include:
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) – If fertilization is problematic due to sperm shape or motility issues, ICSI is used. Donor sperm may be used in the case of a low sperm count. With ICSI, a single sperm is injected into the egg using microtools and microscopic technology.
- Assisted hatching – When the outer layer of the embryo (zona pellucida) is thick, the embryo may have trouble breaking free, or “hatching.” Assisted hatching involves making a tiny hole in the shell before transferring to the uterus. This allows embryos to implant into the uterine lining easily.
- Embryo freezing – Cryopreservation (egg freezing) is done 3-8 days after the embryos form. These embryos have the potential to become successful pregnancies later on.
- Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) – This form of testing involves removing a single cell from the developing embryo to analyze it for chromosomal and genetic abnormalities.
- Egg freezing – For women who do not wish to become pregnant until years later, egg freezing is an option. Women who are candidates include those in their 30s who wish to delay child bearing, those with cancer who are going to receive chemotherapy, and those who are having IVF and do not wish to freeze embryos.
- Trophectoderm biopsy – A new technique used to screen embryos and to select those most likely to result in pregnancy. Cells are removed from the embryo during the blastocyst stage. This test is used for women with recurrent pregnancy losses, as well as those at risk for chromosomal abnormalities.
PRC Dubai offers in vitro fertilization at a first rate fertility center in Dubai Healthcare City. After two decades of IVF success in the US, PRC is now open in Dubai. With an in-house laboratory, the Dubai fertility clinic offers exceptional and comprehensive treatment options. Call us today!
Here is a video on IVF at PRC Dubai: