IN VITRO FERTILIZATION (IVF)
What is In vitro Fertilization?
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a laboratory technique that allows for a woman’s eggs to be fertilized outside of her body. In order to perform this technique, the eggs and the sperm have to be retrieved. IVF can be done using the patients’ gametes (sperm and egg) or donated ones. This means, there are four different treatment options using this technique:
Types of in vitro fertilization
- IVF using the patients’ own gametes. Sperm and eggs of the couple.
- IVF with own eggs and donor sperm.
- IVF with donated eggs with partner’s sperm. This treatment is conventionally called Egg Donation
- IVF with both donated anonymous eggs and donated anonymous sperm also known as Double Donation by anonymous donors.
When IVF treatment is performed with the couple’s own gametes, the physical presence of the patients is required at egg retrieval and to collect the semen sample on a designated day in order to obtain maximum embryo quality and to enhance the chance of achieving pregnancy.
When opting for a treatment with donor sperm and or eggs, donors will remain anonymous as stated by Spanish law. The donors sign a commitment of acceptance to donate eggs and this egg donation is carried out in a safety framework which guarantees the best outcome.
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In vitro fertilization is the recommended treatment in the following cases:
- After one or several failed artificial insemination treatments.
- Male infertility or low sperm quality.
- When the woman has a low ovarian reserve, due to advanced age, previous ovarian surgery, endometriosis or premature ovarian failure.
- When the fallopian tubes are blocked.
- In cases where a Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT-A) is indicated due to the risk of transmitting genetic anomalies to offspring.
- When couples are serodiscordant (HBV, HCV or HIV positive in one of the members of the couple).
- In cases there with low egg quality we recommend treatment with donated eggs to improve the chances of pregnancy.
In vitro Fertilization techniques
Conventional in vitro Fertilization treatment is carried out in a lab by combining sperm and an egg. The sperm fertilizes the egg naturally. The better the egg and sperm quality, the higher the success rate.
ICSI Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection
ICSI is a procedure where the embryologist picks a single sperm and injects it directly into the egg to assist fertilization. The ICSI technique is recommended in cases of poor sperm quality. The embryologist selects the best sperm in order to enhance the possibility of fertilization.
It is sometimes advised by the doctor to compliment IVF/ ICSI with advanced techniques such as sperm selection, for example PICSI, EmbryoScope, which is time-lapse technology and/or Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT-A) in order to improve chances of achieving pregnancy.
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.
Egg retrieval is a simple process that is performed under transvaginal ultrasound guidance and sedation. The process takes about 15-20 minutes. After the procedure, the patient wakes up easily without secondary effects.
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.
The patient will undergo a pregnancy test about 15 days after the embryo transfer.
At IVF-Spain Madrid our goal is that our patients have a healthy baby at home in the shortest time. For this purpose we guarantee:
– Our personalized attention that includes follow-up by one of our doctors and a person from the patient care team who will accompany – you from the beginning to the end of treatment.
– Depending on the treatment plan, you can achieve better results in combination with advanced techniques.
– Our pregnancy rates are above the Spanish average and are certified by the Spanish Fertility Society. SEF
– We are committed to apply the most advanced assisted reproduction techniques, suitable for each case.
We have ISO 9001:2015 and UNE 179007:2013 quality certificates.
IVF and ICSI treatment success rates
Our success rate is 60-75% depending on the age of the patient and the type of treatment the patient undergoes.
Our pregnancy rates in IVF are higher than the European average and are audited by the SEF (Spanish Fertility Society)
How can I increase my possibilities of falling pregnant?
Treatment options for women with a low ovarian reserve
The protocol for In vitro Fertilization using the natural cycle allows the retrieval of the egg that the woman produces spontaneously during her menstrual cycle.
It is recommended to women who do not want to undergo conventional hormone treatment or for those who did not respond to conventional stimulation.
The development of the follicle is monitored with ultrasound scans. The advantage of these cycles is that there are next to no medication costs and it is much easier for the patient.
The protocol for Mild Stimulation consists of using the minimal amount of medication in order to retrieve the egg. It is recommended for patients who do not want to undergo a conventional hormone treatment or for women who were not responsive to previous treatments
Inquire about your case and we will send you an estimate of the costs based on your needs.
The protocol for Egg Banking allows women with a low ovarian reserve to accumulate a greater number of eggs by undergoing various stimulations
Accumulating eggs increases the possibilities of being able to transfer an embryo.
It is recommended for patients with a low ovarian reserve who would like to maximize the possibilities of getting to the embryo transfer or for those women who want their embryos to undergo genetic diagnosis.
Frequent Questions on In vitro Fertilization
The main advantage of undergoing In vitro Fertilization at IVF-Spain Madrid is our excellent pregnancy rate, which is currently 45.2% for patients using their own eggs and we have a 64% success rate for treatments with donor eggs. We use cutting-edge technology with all the advances in Assisted Reproduction and we have the best specialized doctors.
Our laboratory pioneered the blastocyst culture technique used to increase the chances of pregnancy.
Thanks to our efforts and professionalism we have an international and a European Quality Control certifications: ISO-9001/2015 and UNE 179007.
Yes, both the doctor and the patient care representative who will follow your treatment speak English
If you have any questions on how your treatment will be managed you may call us: +34 91 458 58 04
Yes, you may continue working and stay in your country of residence during the stimulation, with no need to travel until just before the egg retrieval.
The stimulation of an IVF cycle last between 10 and 12 days. On the same day of the egg retrieval, the eggs will be fertilized. The embryo will be transferred on the third or the fifth day.
Our patient care representatives can give you hotel suggestions and provide information on how to get to the clinic.
In a 28-day cycle, it is estimated that ovulation takes place on day 14. About 24 hours after, the woman’s temperature goes up and that is the way to know if the woman has ovulated. At present, pharmacies sell ovulation kits so the woman can test and see if she is going to ovulate and thus have sex to coincide with her most fertile moment.
In our assisted reproduction clinic, we can monitor the ovulation with ultrasound scans on different days of the cycle and blood will be drawn to test hormone levels to make sure that the necessary hormone levels rise for ovulation and, thus, help natural conception.
Most patients with a regular cycle (26-35 days) ovulate every month. To have regular cycles, hormones that make the endometrium grow and mature are synchronized to achieve ovulation in the middle of they cycle.
For patients with longer or irregular cycles (30-90 days), the body is creating hormones to make the endometrium grow. If there is no ovulation, the endometrium spontaneously sheds. This process makes for long and/or irregular cycles and sometimes, in these situations, there is no ovulation.
The spermatozoon is the male gamete and it defines the sex of the future baby. It is a germinal cell composed by a head, a midpiece and a tail. Any anomaly of any of the parts imply that there is a decrease in the probability that this spermatozoon will fertilize the egg.
A sperm analysis evaluates the morphology, the mobility and the concentration of sperm per milliliter. The morphology or shape of the sperm should be oval and smooth, the tail should be three times as long as the head and present a correct insertion into the head. The mobility is defined by the speed at which the sperm advances (micrometers per second) following a lineal path. All these parameters should be within the normal limits established by the World Health Organization in 2010 in order to have the best chances of success.