It is an InVitro Fertilization (IVF) Procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg under the microscope.
Stages of IVF:
1) Control Ovarian Hyperstimulation:
This is done using different protocols with different medications (Hormonal Injections) with the purpose of recruiting multiple eggs from your ovaries and controlling when your eggs will be ready. Usually, a woman ovulates around one egg a month, with this treatment we want to recruit a higher number of eggs.
You will take around 9 days of injections during this process and be followed up every few days by transvaginal ultrasounds to monitor the follicular size. When the leading follicles have reached the appropriate size (17-18mm), you will be administered one more hormonal injection (HCG or GnRHa depending on each case) to help your eggs mature. This injection is usually given at night. Egg retrieval is scheduled 36 hours later.
2) Egg Retrieval
Egg Retreival is performed in a procedure room under intravenous sedation. It takes around 10-15min. Ovarian follicles are aspirated using a needle guided by transvaginal ultrasonography. Follicular fluids are examined by the embryologists to locate all available eggs. The eggs are placed in a special media and cultured in an incubator until insemination.
3) Sperm Collection:
During the same day that the eggs are collected, the male partner will be asked to give a sperm sample which will be used for the insemination.In some cases of Male Factor infertility with a very low sperm count, a testicular biopsy (performed by a urologist in our center) might be needed.
Each mature egg will be injected by one single sperm under a high-powered microscope. After this procedure, the oocyte will be placed into cell culture and checked on the following day for signs of fertilization.
The fertilized eggs are called zygotes and are cultured in a special medium that will support their growth. They will be assessed at either the second or third day after retrieval. If sufficient numbers of embryos exhibit good growth and development, they may be selected to grow to the fifth-day post retrieval.
5) Uterine Embryo Transfer:
Two to five days after collection, the best embryos are selected loaded in a catheter and transferred to the uterus under ultrasound guidance. This is a painless procedure that is done while patient is awake. Afterwards patient will be prescribed medications until the pregnancy test day.