In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IVF is an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedure that is used to treat a range of fertility problems. In the IVF process, fertilization occurs outside the female’s body and takes place in a laboratory setting. IUI is not always an option for some couples, and this can be due to various factors, however, in these cases, IVF can be used as an alternative.
What is the IVF process?
To start, the female’s eggs are surgically removed from her ovaries using an egg collection procedure. Eggs can then be used right away for the procedure; this is referred to as a fresh cycle. Some women choose to have their eggs removed, frozen, and stored until they are ready to have the procedure, this is called a frozen cycle. The male is required to provide a sperm sample for the procedure. The sperm sample must be provided on the day of the procedure as only live, fresh sperm can be used for successful fertilization.
The retrieved egg and sperms are placed in a petri dish in the laboratory to allow for fertilization to take place.
Once fertilization has successfully taken place, the fertilized egg, now called an embryo, is implanted into the female’s uterus. The egg settles into the female’s uterus for growth into a fetus and eventually a baby.
Despite being a complex procedure, since 1990 IVF treatment and fertility specialists at Bedaya hospital have successfully achieved some of the best IVF success rates in Egypt and the Middle East for both fresh and frozen cycles.
Who should have IVF?
In Vitro Fertilization is an effective treatment for those who are suffering from the following:
- Male infertility issues: men who are struggling with infertility problems like weak motility movements and low count of sperms, the IVF process is recommended for them. Why? Because when a semen sample is delivered to the doctors gets washed from any liquids and proteins that may cause problems, and good quality healthy sperms are being selected and separated from the abnormal ones.
- Men with morphology ( abnormal size and shape of sperms) are included as well.
- Age factor: women above 40 are more exposed to infertility problems and it is hard to get pregnant at such age. Women who have exceeded 40 or 45 are having decreased ovarian function. This means that the ovaries are not releasing eggs as before and the fertility is going down low. In this case, IVF is very useful, and the patient will be taking ovulation stimulation drugs which increase the function of the ovaries.
- Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): Women who are suffering from PCOS are facing pregnancy delays and infertility in the worse case, IVF and ICSI are their successful way to a healthy pregnancy.
- Women that suffer from Fallopian tubes damages or blocks, will get use of the IVF.
- Some women are dealing with unexplained infertility. They are not diagnosed with a certain issue, but there is a pregnancy delay.
- Couples who have tried fertility medicines and drugs and were not successful enough, maybe they should go for IVF.
- Some ovulation problems are treated by drug dosage( ovaries stimulation), and others are more complicated to be corrected by regular medicine. You have to know all of your options before deciding IVF. Your consultant doctor will diagnose you and prescribe you the suitable treatment.
- In the IVF process, fertility medication is given to the female to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. These eggs are contained in follicles in the female’s ovaries. Ultrasound scans and blood tests are used to monitor the progress of the treatment. The specialists are looking for growth of the follicles as this indicates the eggs are multiplying causing the follicles to expand.
- When the follicles reach 17-22 mm, this indicates the eggs are ready to be extracted. The extraction procedure first involves giving the female a hormone injection approximately 36 hours before the egg collection. At this stage, the eggs in the follicles have multiplied but are still in their immature form. For effective fertilization to occur the eggs must be in their mature stage. To achieve this, a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is injected into the female. This hormone is used to stimulate the eggs to develop into the mature stage.
- The next step is to collect the eggs from the follicles. To perform this procedure females are normally given a light form of sedation to make them feel more comfortable. An ultrasound-guided vaginal probe is inserted into the female and is used to locate the follicles. Once the follicles are located, the contents including the eggs and surrounding fluid are collected. The retrieved eggs are then placed in a dish in the laboratory until ready for use.
- Despite close monitoring of the development of the follicles using ultrasound and blood tests to determine hormone levels it is still difficult to determine the number of eggs that will be collected until the eggs are extracted from the follicles. In rare cases, follicles are seen on the ultrasound scan and the hormone levels are elevated in the blood tests but the follicles are empty when the specialist goes in to retrieve the eggs.
- In the laboratory, our embryology team places the eggs into a petri dish with the collected sperms to allow for fertilization and development to occur. The embryologists closely monitor the activity of the egg and sperms.
- Once the egg is successfully fertilized and the embryos have developed, the embryologist will select the healthiest, most developed embryos to be transferred back to the uterus. Multiple embryos are used for transfer as this increases the chance that an embryo will be successful in inducing pregnancy. On average approximately 2-4 embryos are used for insertion. The embryos are inserted into the female using an embryo transfer procedure. This procedure is quick and painless and does not require any form of sedation. The embryologist inserts the embryos into a fine catheter which is placed into the female’s uterus. There is no recovery period required following the procedure and the female can resume her usual activities afterward. It takes approximately 2 weeks for the embryo to settle and develop therefore a pregnancy test can be completed after 2 weeks for an accurate reading.
What happens to embryos that are not transferred?
As indicated above, only the healthiest embryos are used in the transfer, so what happens to the embryos that are not used? All remaining, good quality embryos that are not transferred will be frozen and stored.
These frozen eggs can be used later on at the discretion of the couple for future use. we have a very high pregnancy rate for frozen embryo transfers. The advantage of freezing good quality eggs at this point is that it offers a very high chance of getting pregnant in a subsequent cycle without having to go through the whole IVF procedure again.
IVF at Bedaya hospital
Most of our infertility cases are treated by IVF and ICSI, and if you ever checked our success stories page, you will find hoe effective and efficient these treatments are. Our hospital hosts a group of experienced and hard-working doctors and professors who have their own techniques of diagnosing and treating hopeless cases. We have leading consultants that have more than 20 years of experience and have accomplished so much in the field of fertility medicine.
IVF success rate is going up at Bedaya hospital for using advanced technology and techniques like laser-assisted hatching during the procedures of IVF and ICSI.
Your In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) journey begins with precise diagnoses by the most experienced professors in the Middle East. The next step is going through the procedure itself which is nonpainful and done professionally with highly advanced technology and the latest medical devices. Bedaya has the latest Incubators designed to provide an artificial uterus environment for the fertilized eggs (embryos) and they are supplied by Oxygen and nitrogen to keep the Embryo safe outside the woman’s body and prevent it from PH disturbances.
The hospital is cooperating and contacting with research institutes and fertility centers in and outside of Egypt to keep updated on the developments of the field of fertility, and exchange knowledge.
IVF success rates
You are probably wondering about the IVF success rate and if it going to work for you after spending a good amount of money. IVF process is generally effective and successful especially for women under 35 years old. As we all know, as women and men get older, their fertility decreases. If there is going to be one element that will determine the success of ART procedures in general, it will be the element of a woman’s age.
If you are worried about IVF, you can search for IVF success rates internationally and start comparing them with rates of your local clinics. Bedaya Hospital has achieved a high percentage of successful ICSI and IVF since most of our cases are treated with these two techniques.