When undergoing In Vitro Fertilization, embryo selection is one of the most important steps to having a healthy baby. Embryo selection is the process of choosing the best and healthiest embryos to be implanted into the uterus. By doing, this it increases the chances of having a successful in vitro fertilization.
The Embryo Selection
To begin the in vitro process, the eggs must first be extracted from the mother or in some cases a surrogate mother. This is done by placing the mother on fertility medication to help her produce more eggs. Then the eggs are removed from the uterus during ovulation by the use of ultrasound and a small catheter. After this is done, the eggs are placed into a culture medium and the sperm are injected into the eggs with the use of microscopes and a very fine needle. In some cases where the male is infertile, the sperm may come from a donor.
After the eggs have been injected with the sperm, they are left to begin developing into embryos. They are carefully monitored during this time. After the eggs and sperm have matured for about 2 or 3 days, then the selection for the best embryos begins. The laboratory technician will look closely at the embryos and choose the most healthy ones. They do this by choosing the embryos that are at a 2-4 or 4-8 stage cell cycle.
The number of embryos transferred back in to the uterus depends on the mothers age and if she has undergone in vitro fertilization before or not. Depending of these factors, up to five embryos can be implanted. In some cases if the mother has undergone IVF before unsuccessfully, more embryos may be implanted.
After the embryos have matured, they will then be implanted. The woman will be placed in the stirrups and a small catheter or tube will be placed inside the vagina up to the uterus. The embryos will be placed in the uterus through this. The doctor will use an abdominal ultrasound to determine the placement of each embryo. In most cases, the doctor will place the embryos at the top of the uterus. This depends on how many embryos are implanted.
Once the embryos have been placed, the mother will go home and wait for 2 weeks. Then, she will return to the clinic for a blood test to determine if the process has worked. If it comes back positive, she then begins prenatal care. If it is negative, she will discuss other options for another IVF round or other options for having a baby.
If you are trying to conceive a child and it has been unsuccessful, IVF may be an option for you to try. IVF is usually a last resort for most couples since it is an expensive process, but the rewards of having a child can greatly out weigh the costs. Talk to your doctor to determine if you are a good candidate for IVF.