In Vitro Fertilization: Egg and Sperm Preparation

In vitro fertilization is a procedure in which a woman’s egg is fertilized with a man’s sperm outside of the womb. Conception is a complex process, and couples who have tried to conceive a child with no help and no results after a year, often seek in vitro fertilization. The good news is many couples are successful with this process. However, it does take some time and effort to prepare for in vitro fertilization.

Egg Preparation for the Female

Once the decision has been made to pursue in vitro fertilization, the preparation process is implemented for the female. Approximately two weeks before the in vitro fertilization procedure is scheduled to take place, hormones are administered, either at home or by a professional, to prepare the eggs. Fertility drugs are given to stimulate egg productions.

Several blood tests and ultrasounds are performed during this period in order to determine the best time to harvest the eggs, which are retrieved just before ovulation. Therefore, precise timing is imperative to the in vitro fertilization process.

The Male Side of In Vitro Fertilization

The process of in vitro fertilization takes cooperation from both parties involved. While the woman is going through her preparations for the process, there are preparations the man has to go through, as well. As the time approaches for the in vitro fertilization attempt, the sperm goes through sperm washing. Sperm washing is a procedure in which dead sperm and sperm with inhibited motility are literally washed out of the sperm sample. The sperm left behind are stronger, faster and more likely to fertilize the egg. Sperm washing can also eliminate other substances that could affect fertility such as white blood cells, mucous and seminal fluid surrounding the sperm.

Healthy Egg and Sperm for In Vitro Fertilization

In addition to the preparation procedures outlined above, there are also recommended dietary changes for both men and women designed to help produce the healthiest eggs and sperm possible for in vitro fertilization. This includes increasing water intake, and reducing or eliminating all processed and refined foods, caffeine, alcohol and sugar.

Preparation for in vitro fertilization begins a lot sooner than the scheduled procedure. Couples who choose to undergo in vitro fertilization can also take charge of the health of their sperm and eggs by changing their diet, improving their nutrition and discussing nutritional supplements that might improve the chances of the success of the in vitro fertilization process.

For a successful in vitro fertilization, strict adherence to the timetable for egg preparation set by the treating physician is imperative to the process, as is sperm washing. Many couples successfully conceive through in vitro fertilization with the proper preparation.

Have specific questions?
ASK A DOCTOR

All Article Categories

Suggested Doctors

Recently Asked Questions