There are a variety of treatments available for men and women suffering from infertility. These treatments are further categorized into three, namely: 1) medicines that help improve fertility, 2) surgical treatments, and 3) assisted conception. Out of all these options, two of the most popular treatments are categorized under number 2, which are surgical treatments. These two very commonly sought-after fertility treatments are the In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and the Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).
About In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
In-Vitro Fertilization, more commonly referred to as IVF for short, is a type of medical procedure that involves an egg from the female patient’s ovaries to be surgically removed. This egg is then fertilized with a sperm cell in a laboratory. Once the egg or the embryo has been fertilized, it will then be placed back into the female patient’s womb in order for it to develop and grow.
Indications for In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
- IVF has been originally developed as a treatment for women suffering from blocked Fallopian tubes.
- Women who are suffering from pelvic adhesions and endometriosis are also good candidates for IVF.
- Some women who are affected by ovulatory disorders and cannot conceive as well as those who have unexplained infertility also opt for IVF.
Steps Involved in In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
- Preparation – Through the process called “Controlled Ovarian Stimulation”, a female IVF patient will be prepared to produce at least 8 to 12 eggs.
- Egg Collection – The produced eggs are collected through the use of an ultrasound guide. A needle is inserted into the vagina going to the follicles so that the eggs will be aspirated.
- Semen Production – The female patient’s male partner is highly advised to produce semen at the clinic where the IVF will take place.
- Fertilization – Once the eggs have been collected, they will be taken to a laboratory and are inseminated with the semen a few hours after. After 18 hours, they will be checked for fertilization. After 24 hours, they will be examined for division.
- Embryo Transfer – The transfer of the embryo often takes place 2 to 5 days after the collection. This done by having a fine tube or a catheter inserted into the cervix where the embryos are then injected into.
About Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection, or ICSI, is a form of treatment wherein an egg is fertilized by having it micro-injected with a sperm that does not have the potential to achieve fertilization. In terms of fertilization rate, ICSI has around 60 to 70 percent per egg. The process involved in ICSI for women includes the same preparation and egg collection steps as IVF. The only difference between IVF and ICSI lies in the fertilization process. In ICSI, only the mature eggs will be injected with sperm and are checked the morning after if they have achieved fertilization.