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 in some cases isn’t an option for couples, this can be due to variable factors, in these cases, IVF is an alternative.
What is the IVF process?
To start, the female’s eggs are surgically removed from her ovaries using an oocyte (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 and frozen due to variable reasons like not being ready to have children or currently not being in a relationship and wanting to make sure she can still reproduce later. If she does have a partner, it is better to freeze embryos and then transfer these at a later point in time. In both cases when getting the patient ready for transfer we refer to it as her going through a frozen cycle.
-The male partner is required to provide a sperm sample for the procedure. This can be on the day of the egg collection or we can use a sample that he has priorly frozen at our clinic.
-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 transferred into the female’s uterus. The embryo after implantation in the uttering endometrium lining grows into a fetus and eventually a baby.
-Despite it being a complex procedure. Bedaya Hospital has successfully achieved some of the best IVF success rates in Egypt and the Middle East for both fresh and frozen cycles ever since the nineties.
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 due to, abnormal morphology, decreased motility (movement), and low sperm count
Why is IVF process recommended in such cases? Because when a semen sample is delivered to the laboratory it gets washed from any liquids and proteins and good quality healthy sperms are being selected and separated from the abnormal ones.
- Age factor: women above 36 that have been trying for over a year with negative results. After the age of 35 the quality of the oocytes and the regularity of ovulation starts to decrease. Medication that stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs are given to hopefully produce several good quality eggs for the IVF procedure.
- Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) have irregular or no ovulation which results in delayed pregnancy. Medication that stimulates the ovaries to ovulate and subsequently IVF or ICSI are a good form of treatment that have showed very positive results in pregnancy rates.
- Women that suffer from Fallopian tube damages or blockage. The eggs are fertilized outside the body which surpasses the tubal problem.
- Unexplained infertility
During the IVF process, hormones to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple follicles are given to the female patient. The growth of these follicles is monitored both by ultrasound sonography and by blood tests showing the rise of certain hormones. These follicles seen on the ultrasound sonography are not the eggs. The eggs grow inside these fluid follicles.
- When the follicles reach between 18-22 mm it indicates that are mature and most probably so are the eggs inside. The woman is given an injection that simulates the natural LH surge 36 hours before her procedure. This induced LH surge causes the eggs to mature and come free in the fluid filled follicle so it can be extracted during the ovum pickup (egg collection) procedure.
- As previously mentioned, 36 hours after the simulated LH surge it is time for the egg collection. The woman is given a mild anesthetic. A vaginal ultrasound probe with a needle guide is brought into the vagina and the follicles seen on the screen are aspirated. The retrieved eggs are placed in a dish under certain strictly regulated conditions until ready for use in the laboratory.
- Despite close monitoring of follicle development, by ultrasound and blood tests to determine hormone levels. It remains difficult to determine the exact number of eggs that will be collected until the actual retrieval procedure is done. In rare cases you see a good number of follicles and elevated hormone levels in blood, yet the follicles are empty or the eggs of poor quality.
- 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 monitors the interaction of eggs and sperms
- Once the egg is successfully fertilized and the embryos have developed, the embryologist will select the best ones under the microscope and transfer these back to the uterus. Multiple embryos are used for transfer as this increases the implantation chances. On average approximately 2-4 embryos are transferred. The embryos are inserted into the uterine cavity using an embryo transfer procedure. This procedure is quick and painless and does not require any form of anesthesia. The embryologist inserts the embryos into a fine catheter which passes through the vagina and cervix into the uterine cavity where the embryos are injected. No recovery period is required following the procedure and the female can resume her usual activities afterwards. It takes approximately 2 weeks for the embryo to settle and develop therefore a pregnancy test can be taken after 2 weeks for an accurate reading.
What happens to embryos that are not transferred?
As indicated above the best embryos are used for 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 embryos can be used later in a frozen cycle. We have high pregnancy rates for frozen embryo transfers. The advantage of freezing good quality embryos is the fact 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. Please have a look at our success stories page! You will find how effective and how much joy these treatments have brought to many couples who had lost hope! Our hospital has a team of experienced and hard-working doctors and professors who have developed their own protocols for diagnosing and treating cases who have lost hope.
IVF success rates are high at Bedaya Hospital due to the advanced techniques and high-tech equipment that allows us to do extra minor procedures that increase successes rates for example laser-assisted hatching on embryos obtained by IVF and ICSI.
Your In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) journey begins with a precise diagnosis of all factors leading to infertility by a team of the best doctors and professors in the Middle East. The procedure of IVF itself is tailored by our team to be time efficient, pain free and with the least amount of stress possible. Bedaya Hospital has the latest Incubators designed to provide an optimum artificial uterine environment for fertilized eggs (embryos) and they are supplied by Oxygen and nitrogen to keep preventing PH imbalances.
IVF success rates
IVF procedure put physical, emotional and financial strain on couples. There is always the fear of “What if all of this is for nothing” or “What if we fail?” Our team at Bedaya Hospital understands all these concerns.
We generally advice couples over the age of 35 that have been trying to conceive for over a year to not postpone seeking help. Maternal age is an important factor and influences IVF success rates positively if IVF is done sooner rather than later.
Bedaya Hospital internationally belongs to one of the centers with the highest success rates for procedures such as IVF and ICSI and we have helped thousands of families globally to reach their dreams of having a family.