IVF – in vitro fertilisation

Selected fertility treatments and their specialists and clinics in Switzerland - Ticino

After prior hormonal stimulation, eggs are harvested from the woman and inseminated in the laboratory with the man’s sperm. The fertilised eggs are then inserted into the uterus. IVF is suitable for women who have a functional disorder of the Fallopian tubes.


IVF can offer you a chance of having a baby if you are unable to conceive naturally, for example if you have blocked, damaged or missing fallopian tubes.


IVF is likely to be recommended for the following fertility problems:

  • if you have blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
  • if you have been trying to conceive for at least two years and a cause hasn't been found to explain why you have not become pregnant.
  • If you have tried fertility drugs without success.


  • If your partner has a major problem with his sperm (see ICSI)
  • Your age. The success rates of the in vitro fertilisation treatment depends on your particular fertility problem and your age. The younger you are, and the healthier your eggs are, the higher your chances of success.


Fertility drugs & hormone injections

You will probably need to take fertility drugs to stimulate your ovaries to develop more than one mature eggs ready for fertilisation. You will have daily hormone injections for about 12 days. These hormone injections stimulate your ovaries to release a greater number of mature eggs than usual.

Egg retrieval and sperm collection

Blood and ultrasound testing is done to monitor the development of the follicles (egg-containing structures) in the ovaries and to detect when your eggs are ready to be retrieved. Your doctor will remove eggs from your ovaries using a fine, hollow needle attached to an ultrasound scan probe. The probe helps to locate the follicles that contain the eggs. While your eggs are being collected, your partner will need to provide a fresh sample of semen. If donated sperm or frozen sperm are being used, the sample is taken from the freezer. The sperm is washed and the best-quality sperm extracted ready to fertilise the eggs.

Fertilisation and embryo transfer

Within one day of combining the eggs and sperm, the dish is checked to see if any eggs have been fertilised. If they have, they'll be kept for between two days and five days before being transferred back into your uterus.


One cycle of IVF takes between four weeks and six weeks to complete. You and your partner can expect to spend about half a day at your clinic for the egg retrieval and fertilisation procedures. You'll go back between two days and three days later for the embryos to be transferred to your uterus.

Risks & complications

The most widely reported 'side effect' associated with IVF is a multiple pregnancy. There is also a very small risk that some women (1-2%) will over-react to the hormone drugs used to stimulate the ovaries, but ultrasound and hormone monitoring during this drug treatment phase usually ensures that any over-reaction is foreseen and any risk avoided.

Swiss law on medically assisted procreation

Sperm donation or Donor sperm can only be used by married couples.

The following practices are not permitted under Swiss law:

  • egg donation
  • embryo donation
  • surrogate motherhood
  • pre-implantation diagnosis and
  • freezing of embryos



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