In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IVF is the abbreviation of in-vitro fertilisation. This means fertilisation of a women’s egg by a man’s sperm outside of the body. The fertilised egg (now called the embryo) is placed gently into the womb. IVF was originally devised to help women when the egg and sperm could not meet because of absent or damaged fallopian tubes.
The role of IVF has now expanded to treat a wide variety of male and female fertility problems.
IVF is performed in four main stages – ovarian stimulation (egg production) with monitoring, egg recovery, insemination and embryo transfer.
The process of IVF starts with stimulation of the ovaries with hormonal injections. Although it is a bit of frightening thought, most women are absolutely fine with injecting. The injections are required for up to 12 to 14 day. It is very important to monitor the developement of the follicles (the small collections of fluid where the eggs develop). The monitoring is done with ultrasound scans and bloods tests. The scans and blood test take about 10 minutes, so your work schedule should not be impacted too much.
Eggs are collected using a vaginal ultrasound guided technique under sedation or a general anaesthetic. Insemination On the same day as the eggs are collected, the partner provides a sperm sample and the most active sperm are selected and mixed with the eggs in the culture medium. They are then incubated overnight and checked the next morning for signs of fertilisation.
The best embryo/s are replaced in the uterus under ultrasound monitoring. Embryo transfer is not painful and anaesthetic is not necessary.
Fertility consultations including discussion of IVF can be arranged via contacting my PA, Ms Yvonne Baillie on 0207 125 0547 or email her here