In vitro fertilization
In vitra fertilization (IVF) is the infertility treatment mode wherein the fertilization occurs outside the female organism. The treatment mode has been developed for those patients who are unable of natural fertilization.
Who is indicated with IVF?
The patients having indications for IVF can be divided in two groups:
- infertile couples can be placed in the first one. Women usually have problems with conception because of endometriosis, ovulation problems or deficiency of fallopian tubes, as well as in case they are over 40 years old. The possible causes of masculine infertility are the insufficient amount or the deficiency of spermatozoa in the seminal fluid. IVF is also used in those cases when infertility cannot be explained.
- the second group includes women who experience habitual noncarrying of pregnancy and families with the risk of transmission of hereditary diseases. Only in case of IVF the preimplantation genetic diagnosis can be carried out. This treatment mode allows to choose the most healthy and viable embryos.
The IVF program consists of several consecutive stages:
1. Ovarian stimulation
The IVF procedure starts with ovarian stimulation. There are three protocols of stimulation: long, superlong and short ones. Initially the female organism is prepared for stimulation with the help of medications. Some time later the medications are used to stimulate the development of multiple follicles, this stage is carried out under the ultrasonic and hormonal control.
2. Follicles puncture
When the follicles grow to the necessary size, follicles puncture is implemented under anesthesia and under the control of ultrasonic diagnosis. In the course of this procedure, the follicular fluid is extracted along with the oocyte with the help of a special puncture needle.
3. Embryos cultivation
The specially treated sperm and the oocytes extracted from the follicular fluid are combined and placed into an incubator filled with growth medium for fertilization and further development. The process of culrivation of embryos may last for 3 to 6 days.
4. Transfer of embryos into the uterine cavity
In a few days after the fertilization the embryos are transferred into the uterine cavity. Unlike the above-mentioned follicles puncture, this procedure is totally painless. This process is carried out with a thin elastic catheter under the control of ultrasonic diagnosis. After the transfer, the woman is prescribed with medications that help create the conditions for the implantation and development of embryos.
5. Pregnancy testing
The most reliable method of pregnancy testing as of today is blood testing for HCG (human chorionic gonadothrophin). With blood testing for HCG, pregnancy can be detected as early as on the 12th day after the embryo transfer. This method is the quickest and most reliable one for early detection of pregnancy.