Both IVF and ICSI are laboratory techniques that permit the fertilization of eggs outside the woman’s body. In order for these techniques to be carried out, we first need to obtain the eggs and the partner’s sperm.
Stages of the IVF-ICSI Process
Hormones are administered by subcutaneous injection (which the patient can administer herself) to stimulate the ovaries. The medication helps increase the number of follicles that mature during the cycle. Serial ultrasound checks will be made in order to adjust the necessary dose of medication and program the egg retrieval.
Eggs can be fertilized in 2 different ways:
- Conventional IVF: the eggs and the sperm are put in a culture plate and spontaneous fertilization takes place.
- ICSI or Sperm microinjection: This is a technique where the biologist selects a spermatozoon and it is injected into an egg.
Embryo transfer takes place 2 to 5 days after egg retrieval. The number of embryos transferred (1, 2 or 3 embryos) will be decided according to the embryo quality and the characteristics of each couple. The decision on how many embryos to transfer will be reached by consensus from the patients, the biologists and the doctor.
Guided by abdominal ultrasound, the embryos are transferred to the fundus of the uterus. The procedure is quick and painless and no sedation is required.
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Thanks to the continuous investment in the latest technology, every stage of In Vitro Fertilization is performed at the clinic, which reduces the waiting times and increases the chances of pregnancy.
- Management, coordination and follow-up
- Egg retrieval
- Intracytoplasmatic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
- Embryo transfer
If the patient decides to interrupt the treatment, we commit to reimbursing the portion of the treatment that has yet to be completed.
The monitoring of the treatment is done in an efficient and secure way, maintaining patient privacy.
Frequently Asked Questions about IVF
Most problems have to do with a low sperm count, or alterations in the movement of morphology of the sperm. Male infertility is sometimes related to varicocele, which are varicose veins in the scrotum that affect sperm production. A testicular trauma, undescended testicles and hormonal imbalances can also cause fertility problems. At times, the presence of other illnesses such as diabetes, central nervous system illnesses or hipophisary tumors, can also have an effect on fertility.
For male-factor infertility, it is recommended to consult with a urologist in order to rule out anatomic anomalies and, at times, to conduct a hormonal analysis to determine the prognosis of each patient with the different treatments available.
There are other tests that can be conducted in order to evaluate other sperm quality parameters, like FISH or the sperm fragmentation test. If any of these tests showed alterations in the sperm, we would have to resort to other therapeutic techniques such as Magnetic Activated Cell Storing or MACS technique for sperm selection or the Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). At ProcreaTec we are prepared to offer the best genetic guidance, given our professionals’ extensive experience and our reputable results.
In a 28-day cycle, it is estimated that ovulation takes place around day 14. About 24 hours after, one’s body temperature rises, and that is how one can know whether one has ovulated. Nowadays, pharmacies sell ovulation kits, which can help guide couples as to when they should be having intercourse, in order to coincide with the most fertile moment of their cycle.
At our fertility clinic, we monitor ovulation by taking transvaginal ultrasound scans on various days in the cycle. Additionally, we analyze hormonal levels in order to ensure that the necessary hormonal peaks have taken place, contributing, in this way, to spontaneous conception.
The majority of patients who have a regular cycle (26-35 days) ovulate every month. Having regular cycles means the hormones that contribute to the growth and maturation of the endometrium are synchronized to achieve ovulation half way through the cycle.
For patients who have long or irregular cycles (30-90 days), their body creates hormones that make their endometrium grow. If there is no ovulation, the endometrium is shed spontaneously. This process results in long and irregular cycles and, in these situations, there is no ovulation.
A spermazoon is the male gamete which will define the genetic sex of the future baby. It is a germ cell composed of a head, a midpiece (neck) and a tail or flagellum. Any anomaly in any of these parts would imply a lower probability that that spermazoon fertilized the egg.
A sperm analysis measures the morphology, the mobility and the concentration of spermatozoa. Regarding the morphology, the head should be oval-shaped and flat, the tails should be three times the size of the head and be properly inserted into the head. As far as the mobility, it is defined by the speed at which the spermazoon advances (measured in micrometers per second), following a linear trajectory. All of these parameters should be within the levels established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2010.