IVF treatment – what is it?
Maybe you have heard about IVF treatment, also known as in vitro fertilization, before. But what does the process entail, and when is IVF treatment a good option? Read along, and we will guide you through the most important aspects of IVF.
What is IVF treatment?
IVF treatment is a method of assisted fertilization carried out in a laboratory. In vitro means “in a glass” and the term is used because the egg is fertilized with the sperm manually in a petri dish. Once an embryo has formed, it will be transferred to the uterus where hopefully a successful pregnancy will occur.
The first child born from IVF treatment was born in 1978 and ever since, the technique has helped millions of people getting pregnant.
When is IVF an option?
Treatment with IVF can be a good option for women who have tubal issues or who suffer from conditions such as endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome. IVF can also be an option if a couple has tried to get pregnant without success for a long time without explanation, or if the man has known reduced sperm quality. If a woman does not have healthy eggs herself, IVF treatment can also be done with donor eggs.
Whether you are a single woman or a couple having IVF treatment, you can choose to use donor sperm for the treatment.
How IVF treatment works
When commencing an IVF treatment, the first step is to start taking fertility medication in the form of hormones to stimulate the process of egg maturation in the follicles inside the ovaries. Under normal circumstances and without medical treatment, only one egg will mature during the woman’s fertile period. However, by taking hormones, multiple eggs will mature.
When the eggs have matured in the ovaries, they are surgically aspirated by a doctor while the woman is under sedation.
After collecting the eggs, they are prepared for fertilization in a petri dish in a laboratory. Sperm cells will then be placed together with the eggs in the petri dish for them to fertilize. Another option is for the embryologist to place a single sperm directly in each egg to maximize the chances of fertilizing. This method is called ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection).
When the eggs and the sperm cells have fertilized, they form what is called embryos. The embryos are then grown in an incubator for 3-5 days until they have developed sufficiently. One of the embryos is then transferred into the woman’s uterus by a doctor using a catheter. Hereafter, a pregnancy will hopefully occur, and the treatment has been successful.
If more than one embryo has developed sufficiently, they can be frozen and stored for another attempt or for a sibling.
How many straws of sperm for IVF?
If you are having IVF treatment with donor sperm, Cryos recommend you order 1 straw of sperm with MOT (motility) 5. You can also order a sperm straw with higher motility for your IVF treatment. You can get access to our free Donor Search here and order sperm straws for your IVF treatment. If you have questions about the process, you are welcome to contact Cryos’ Customer Service team.
In our Facebook group Family Dreams, you can connect with others who either have children or are on the journey of becoming parents with the help of donor sperm – a lot of them through IVF treatment.