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Infertility and treatment

IVF treatment – What is it?

By Cryos | 11/30/2017
What is IVF treatment?

You have probably heard about IVF treatment, also known as in vitro fertilization, before. But do you know what the process entails, and when IVF treatment is the preferred option? Read along, and we guide you through the most important aspects of IVF.

What is IVF treatment?

IVF treatment is a method of assisted reproduction. In vitro means “in a glass”. We use this term because the egg is fertilized manually with the sperm in a petri dish. Once an embryo forms, a doctor transfers the embryo into the uterus where, hopefully, a successful pregnancy occurs.

In 1978, the first child was born as a result of in vitro fertilization. Ever since the technique has helped millions of people getting pregnant.

The process of IVF treatment - and how it works

  • Step 1: When commencing an IVF treatment, the first step is to start taking fertility medication in the form of hormones. Fertility medication stimulates the process of egg maturation in the follicles inside the ovaries. Under normal circumstances, and without medical treatment, only one egg matures during the woman’s fertile period. However, multiple eggs will mature when the woman takes hormones.
  • Step 2: When the eggs have matured in the ovaries, the doctor surgically aspirates them while the woman is under sedation.
  • Step 3: After collecting the eggs, the doctor prepares the eggs for fertilization in a petri dish in a laboratory. Sperm cells are then 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).
  • Step 4: When the eggs and the sperm cells have fertilized, they form embryos. The embryos must grow in an incubator for 3-5 days until they have developed sufficiently.
  • Step 5: When the embryos have developed, the embryologist transfers one of the embryos into the woman’s uterus with a catheter. Hereafter, a pregnancy hopefully occurs, and the treatment is successful.

If more than one embryo develops sufficiently, the excess embryos can be frozen and stored for another attempt or for siblings.

Woman having an ultrasound after IVF treatment

When is in vitro fertilization an option?

In vitro fertilization is an option if you have tubal issues or if you suffer from conditions such as endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome. IVF is also an option if you have tried to get pregnant without success for a long time without explanation, or if the man has known reduced sperm motility. If the woman does not have healthy eggs herself, it is a possibility to perform IVF treatment 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 many straws of sperm for IVF?

If you are having IVF treatment with donor sperm, Cryos recommend you to order 1 straw of sperm with MOT (sperm motility) 5. You can also order a sperm straw with higher motility. You can get access to our free Sperm Donor Search and order sperm straws for treatment at your fertility clinic. If you have questions about the process, you are welcome to contact Cryos' Customer Care 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.