IVF – Having a baby with “in vitro fertilization”
IVF (in vitro fertilization) is one of the many different types of fertility treatment available.
Hormone therapy is used to stimulate the development of follicles, which are then punctured to extract the egg cells via the vagina. In our laboratory the harvested eggs are prepared for artificial fertilization and then combined with sperm from the male partner. With this method, the sperm have to penetrate the eggs without any further help – so this stage is just like the natural process.
Then we check to see if fertilization has taken place. If this has been successful, the fertilized egg is cultured in a nutrient solution for two to three days (up to a maximum of five days) and then transferred painlessly into the female partner’s womb.
If implantation in the womb lining is successful, the resulting pregnancy is no different from a spontaneous pregnancy.
You can see a simple flow diagram of the stages of the IVF process here.