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In-vitro fertilisation (IVF)

Commonly known as IVF, in-vitro fertilisation is one of several techniques designed to help people with fertility issues to conceive. During IVF, sperm is put into the woman’s eggs in a laboratory to produce embryos. In vitro means ‘in glass’, which is why IVF is also sometimes called a ‘test tube baby’ procedure.

  • the IVF procedure starts with ‘regulation’ – we temporarily switch off your natural hormone cycle.
  • hormone injections are given to encourage your ovaries to produce eggs.
  • your eggs are collected when the follicles (the collection of fluid within the ovary) reach the right size, and the uterus lining is thick enough.
  • the eggs and sperm, which your partner produced on the day of egg collection, are placed together in a laboratory dish to allow fertilisation and embryo growth to happen.
  • the embryo is placed in your uterus – usually on the second, third or the fifth day after egg collection, when the fertilised egg has divided and contains two to eight cells. A day-five transfer is known as blastocyst transfer.
  • around 10% of cycles are cancelled before the planned egg collection because:
  • there’s an excessive response to stimulation and the risk of hyperstimulation syndrome (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, or OHSS) is substantial.

Or

  • the response to ovarian stimulation is poor.

IVF treatment is used in cases of:

  • tubal damage
  • bilateral salpingectomy (both tubes were surgically removed)
  • endometriosis
  • male infertility
  • idiopathic infertility
  • immunological infertility
  • failure of IUI treatment.

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