This treatment effectively bypasses the fallopian tubes and is the most effective treatment for patients with absent, blocked or damaged tubes. The woman is given fertility drugs to stimulate her ovaries to produce many follicles.
Each follicle should contain one egg. The chances of pregnancy is increased if more than one egg one be obtained and fertilized. The number and size of the developing follicles in the ovaries is measured by ultrasound scans.
The ultrasound scans are performed at intervals during the treatment cycle.
When the follicles reach the optimal size, preparations will be made for egg collection. An oestradiol assay will also be carried out prior to administering HCG,
to help determine the timing of egg collection.
The final preparation for egg collection involves a hormonal injection given to the woman 36-40 hours pre-operatively. This mimics the natural process which normally triggers ovulation.
The eggs are collected vaginally using ultrasound guidance, under general or local anaesthesia. The ultrasound probe is introduced into the vagina, the ovaries are visualized and then the aspiration needle (attached to the probe) is passed through the top of the vagina into the follicles .The fluid within the follicles is aspirated
and then examined in our IVF laboratory for the eggs to be identified.
After egg collection, the eggs are incubated for a short time and the sperm is then added to the eggs and incubated in the laboratory for a further 24-48hours. Providing that the semen is normal, fertilization should take place. The first signs of fertilization are shown by the presence of the pronuclei within the egg. If this has occurred, the zygote should then divide into two ,and subsequently three, four or more cell embryos. The fertilized eggs (now called embryos) are returned to the uterus 48-72 hours after egg collection. This is an embryo transfer.
The embryo transfer procedure is one of the most important events in IVF. It is generally a painless procedure. An abdominal scan is performed to confirm the correct position of the transfer catheter within the uterine cavity prior to replacement.