Fertilization

If you and your mate have tried for more than a year to become pregnant and have been unsuccessful then you are considered infertile and may need fertilization assistance from a fertility specialist.

There are new and advanced fertility procedures that can assist you in becoming pregnant; this includes in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and other similar procedures.

IVF offers infertile couples a chance to have a child who is biologically related to them. With this procedure, a man's sperm and the woman's egg are united together in a laboratory dish, where fertilization occurs. The ensuing embryo would then be placed in your uterus in hopes that it would implant and develop naturally. Normally, 2-4 embryos would be placed in your uterus at one time. Each attempt is called a cycle.

If you have a blocked or severely damaged or no fallopian tubes at all, then IVF would be the preferred procedure for you. This procedure is also used when infertility is brought on by endometriosis or if your mate has a low sperm count.

The Procedure

In this procedure, your eggs will be surgically aspirated from your ovary under ultrasound guidance and your mate's sperm will be mixed in a laboratory dish. Over the next 40 hours, the eggs will be examined to see if they have become fertilized by the sperm and are dividing into cells. Once the eggs fertilize, the will be called embryos and will be placed in your uterus, thus bypassing the fallopian tubes where this development normally takes place.

IVF Process

• You will be given hormones that will stimulate your ovaries to generate numerous eggs before the process to extract them.

• Your surgeon will then insert a needle through your vagina into your ovary to remove eggs. At one time this process was done with laparoscopic surgery, but the needle technique has proven to be much less invasive and much easier.

• The fluid removed will be examined in the laboratory to verify that eggs are present.

• At the same time, your mate will be providing a semen sample. He will need to sustain from sexual intercourse for a few days before your eggs are retrieved and before he produces a semen sample.

• The active sperm are combined in the laboratory dish with the eggs which is the in vitro fertilization process. Once the process is complete and the embryos are transferred back into your uterus, you will be given more hormones for about 2 weeks when a pregnancy test will be performed to verify that the implantation has worked.

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