IVF-ET - In Vitro Fertilization

In vitro fertiliziation and embryo transfer

IVF-ET (In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer)

This consists of hormonal stimulation to induce multiple follicle growth followed by retrieval of eggs, their in vitro fertilization (in a laboratory) using the partner’s sperm and subsequent transfer of the embryos to the uterus. Any supernumerary pre-embryos (zygotes or fertilized eggs) are cryopreserved and kept available to the couple for subsequent embryo transfers.

This technique is recommended in the following cases:

  • blocked tubes
  • seminal disease
  • failure of simpler techniques

The success rate achieved is 32% per cycle on average but varies according to the causes, the duration of sterility, the age of the patient, the seminal fluid counts and the type of stimulation carried out.

The basic stages of IVF-ET are as follows:

  • Ovarian preparation
    This stage makes it possible to synchronise follicular growth with the aim of obtaining a higher number of mature eggs.
  • Ovarian stimulation
    The growth of follicles containing eggs is induced by subcutaneous injections. The ovarian response is monitored by means of trans-vaginal ultrasound and hormonal blood sampling to evaluate follicle growth (number and quality).
  • Egg retrieval (Pick-up)
    This involves drawing up the eggs using a fine needle under transvaginal ultrasound control. The operation takes place in an operating theatre under sedation and is painless. The egg retrieval takes 10 to 15 minutes. The patient is discharged approximately 2 hours after the operation.
  • In vitro insemination
    The recovered eggs are placed in a culture dish together with the partner’s semen following appropriate preparation to achieve fertilization. After approximately 20 hours, the growth of the zygotes (eggs with two pronuclei, of maternal and paternal origin that have not yet fused together) is ascertained. According to Swiss law, all mature eggs that are recovered may be inseminated. The average fertilization rate is approximately 70%.
    Zygotes destined for transfer are left in the culture dish for a further 24-48 hours to become 2-8 celled embryos.
  • Embry transfer The embryos are transferred to the uterine cavity by means of a fine catheter. The transfer is fast and painless (without an anesthetic) and takes approximately 15-20 minutes.
    Because each embryo may be implanted independently of the others, we advise the transfer of two embryos to reduce the risk of multiple pregnancies.
    During the next 3-4 days it is advisable to avoid sport and excessive exercise.
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