There are many ways that a fertility specialist can help people start the family they have always wanted. One of the most well-known and popular assisted reproduction methods is in vitro fertilization (IVF). This process helps ensure successful pregnancy in a number of cases, regardless if the issue is related to male infertility, female infertility, or both.
IVF is a process with various steps, and it's important that patients understand what these steps entail in order to have realistic expectations about the nature of the treatment. The team at our fertility center would like to take a moment right now to focus on insemination phase of IVF.
What is in vitro fertilization (IVF)?
Broadly, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is a treatment in which eggs are retrieved from a woman in order to be fertilized in a lab setting. When fertilized, the embryos are then carefully placed into the womb so that they can be carried to term.
About the Insemination Process
The insemination process takes place after the eggs have been retrieved (egg retrieval or egg harvesting) but before they are placed back into the womb (embryo transfer). During insemination, the eggs are fertilized so that they can develop into embryos.
There are two ways to go about insemination: a traditional method, and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
Traditional IVF Insemination
If a man's semen is normal based on lab analysis, the sperm and the eggs are simply joined together in a petri dish and the natural process of fertilization is allowed to take place. Since it is in a controlled and sterile setting, fertilization is very likely.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
If lab analysis finds that the man's semen is unhealthy in some fashion (e.g., poor sperm count, poor sperm motility), that is when intracytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI is considered. ICSI involves the injection of a single sperm into the egg with the assistance of a microscope and a micropipette.
What happens next?
After insemination has taken place, the inseminated eggs are placed in a special incubator which has controlled humidity and temperature that help ensure proper fertilization and embryo development. The fertility specialists will wait until the embryo has undergone some degree of cellular division before embryo transfer takes place.
Other Matters to Consider
As there are different phases of in vitro fertilization (IVF) to consider and different fertility issues as well, it's important that patients keep in mind that there are other treatment options out there that may be able to make the IVF process more successful. This includes the use of donor sperm, the use of donor eggs, and even the services of a surrogate carrier who will bring the child to term. All of these matters can be discussed in greater detail during your consultation at our practice.
Learn More About Your Fertility Treatment Options
If you would like to learn more about IVF and your many options available for starting the family that you have always wanted, be sure to contact our fertility center serving Los Angeles today. The entire team here looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you make smart decisions with regard to your many options in assisted reproduction technology.