In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) involves putting the eggs and sperms together. By natural selection, the egg will usually allow only one sperm to enter and this usually leads to the fertilisation process in the laboratory. After fertilisation, the embryos are allowed to grow for a short period of time before being placed into the uterus. A successful pregnancy can be confirmed about two weeks later.
IVF is the only fertility treatment for women with irreparably damaged or blocked fallopian tubes. IVF is also offered when infertile women cannot conceive with simpler methods of treatment for conditions such as endometriosis, ovulatory dysfunction, unexplained infertility, sperm disorders and immunological problems.
Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) involves injecting a single sperm into each egg to allow fertilisation to occur in the laboratory.
Fig 1. Injecting single sperm into an egg
ICSI is recommended if your husband has poor quality sperms or if you have had difficulties with fertilisation in the past. If this is your first ICSI cycle, it may also be combined with regular IVF.
This is a session where the clinician will explain and discuss the procedure with you. Any questions that you have about the treatment can be raised at this time. This will enable you to fully understand the treatment you are about to embark on. You will also need to make some decisions regarding unfertilised eggs and abnormal/poor quality embryos.
A written consent for IVF/ICSI and cryopreservation/thawing of the embryos is also obtained.
You will also need a separate session by our IVF counsellor on the emotional and physical demands of undergoing the treatment programme and dealing with disappointments of failed attempts.
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