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IVF & ICSI Treatment Step

IVF and ICSI are assisted conception treatments where the sperm and eggs are treated outside the body, eggs are fertilised in the laboratory and embryos are then transferred when the embryo reaches a blastocyst stage

IVF & ICSI Process Stages

There are many stages in the process of IVF and ICSI treatments

  • Ovarian stimulation with FSH injections, when the long protocol is used this is preceded by three weeks of downregulation injection. In antagonist protocol on day five or day six of FSH stimulation an additional injection is added which blocks ovulation.
  • During these injections, three to four ultrasound scans are needed to assist in the progress and to plan the day when oocyte retrieval will take place
    36 hours before the egg retrieval, a trigger injection is given. This trigger injection is either Suprecur (if freezing of eggs is being undertaken) or HCG (when a fresh transfer is planned).
  • The day after the trigger injection they are no injections and in some cases, a blood test is required.
  • You would be asked to fast from midnight preceding the egg collection date without taking any fluids or food. You’ll also be asked to come in early in the morning fasting and be prepared for an anaesthetic.
  • On the day of egg collection, identity checks are conducted prior to the procedure itself.
  • A small needle is inserted into the hand and anaesthesia (deep sedation) is given.
  • Each follicle is drained and checked if eggs are present or not. Follicles may be flushed to try and see if an egg is detected. Some follicles will be empty while others will contain eggs.
  • Then the IVF or ICSI procedure is performed.
  • The day after the procedure is the fertilisation check. Usually, between 50 and 60% of eggs are fertilised. This can vary. In some cases, there may be low fertilisation or no fertilisation.
  • Embryos are then cultured and observed for three to five days. The ideal time for freezing or for transfer is at a blastocyst stage (day five embryos which have accelerated in growth and have between 100-250 cells). These embryos have differentiated into cells that form the baby and cells that form the placenta. Blastocyst form on day 5, day 6 or sometimes on day 7
  • Day 5 embryos can be transferred or frozen. Day 6 or 7 embryos need to be frozen.

How Does IVF Work?

In IVF, the eggs are mixed with washed and ready sperm in the laboratory. It is then left to nature to fertilise the eggs. Fertilitzation can then be observed the next day.

How Does ICSI Work?

ICSI is where a single mature egg is confirmed and injected with a single sperm.

Frequently Asked Questions About The IVF Process

How Long Does The IVF Process Take?

The stimulation of the ovaries which includes daily injections usually takes between 10 and 15 days. This includes daily injections and is followed by oocyte (egg) retrieval. If a fresh transfer is planned then in approximately three weeks the embryos are transferred inside the womb. In a further two weeks, the results would be available.

If a frozen cycle is planned then after three weeks from the start of stimulation embryos are frozen and can be replaced after preparation which may take a further 6 to 8 weeks.

How Do You Work Out Your Due Date With IVF?

There are specific IVF due date calculators which can be used. An easy way to detect due date is to note the day of a blastocyst transfer. You then move back by 5 days and consider that to be the day when the sperm and the egg were injected or IVF was done. The last menstrual period is calculated by moving two weeks backward from that date. Then the expected due date is 9 months from this date.

How Does A Frozen IVF Cycle Work?

A frozen cycle is done in various ways.

The long protocol is where the ovary is shut down for three weeks following which oestrogen tablets or patches are started and are taken for 10 to 14 days. You may have between one and two ultrasound scans to check for the thickness of the endometrium.

Once the endometrium crosses 8 millimetres, progesterone is started and on the 5th day with taking oestrogen and progesterone, the embryo is transferred. Oestrogen and progesterone are then continued until the pregnancy test and if it is positive these drugs are continued further.

Frequently Asked Questions About The ICSI Process

How Much Sperm Is Needed For ICSI?

A very small quantity of sperm is needed. The most motile sperm with the most normal morphology are chosen.

How Long Does Fertilisation Take After ICSI?

Sperms are injected and 22 -24 hours later the check for fertilisation takes place

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