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In-vitro Fertilisation

In-vitro Fertilisation

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is a method of bypassing a woman’s fallopian tubes by combining a man’s sperm and a woman’s egg outside the womb in a laboratory dish, such as a glass petri dish. Hence the Latin term “in-vitro” meaning “within glass”.

To enable a woman to produce sufficient eggs for IVF, hormonal drugs will need to be injected to stimulate her ovaries. When the follicles are mature her eggs will be surgically aspirated from her ovary under anaesthetic and with the guidance of ultrasound. The eggs will then be mixed with sperm, outside her body, in a petri dish or the sperm injected individually into her eggs using ICSI (Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection).

After about eighteen hours, the eggs are examined to see if they have become fertilised by the sperm and are dividing into cells to form embryos. Before being placed into the woman’s uterus the embryos will be incubated and observed over the next two to five days to assess their viability.

One or more embryos are placed into the women’s uterus at each IVF attempt. For the next few weeks she will be given certain hormones to improve her chances of implantation. If implantation occurs an embryo will have attached to the uterine wall and will begin to grow and a pregnancy test will be positive.