Fertilization In Ivf

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In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is an expensive and complex procedure; less than 5% of couples with infertility seek it out. (5) These women usually have blocked or severely damaged fallopian tubes; or the man may have a low sperm count. IVF is a technique that has been established and developed over the years where an egg is fertilised by a sperm outside of the body. Some aspects such as age, body weight and health may have an effect on the success rates on IVF. (see figure 1) Figure 1: success rates in Australia There are four basic procedures to undertake IVF. The first step is the egg ripening or the stimulation process. This practice involves the women taking multiple fertility drugs; each drug differs for each woman and is selected for the women’s individual situation. These drugs stimulate and boost the females’ egg production in order to produce several eggs per month. The second step involves the collection of the egg. This step occurs within 36 hours of the HCG injection. Using an ultrasound as a guide, a small needle connected to a suction device is inserted through the vagina. This needle then collects the eggs and fluid out of the sac (follicle) (see figure 2). Step three involves the fertilisation and insemination process. The eggs and sperm are placed together and stored in an environmentally controlled incubator. If the doctor does not think fertilization will occur, the sperm may be directly inserted into the egg (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) (see figure 3). Figure 3: Intracytoplasmic sperm injection The fourth and final step involves the embryo transfer. This process involves the placement of embryos into the women’s uterus. The doctor inserts a catheter (a thin tube) containing the women’s embry... ... middle of paper ... ...or them. If IVF in not successful, there are many alternatives to IVF, such as adoption, which is an ideal way to start a family and to also give the child the opportunity to grow up in an a caring environment. If the couple is desperate need to produce a child of their own, alternatives may include; Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT), GIFT is very similar to IVF however, unlike IFV, fertilisation is not attempted in the laboratory. Instead, the combined material is injected into the fallopian tubes where fertilisation will occur. This provides an alternative for religious couples who think IVF is not natural. There are also similar processes to GIFT such as Zygote intrafallopian transfer and tubal embryo transfer (ZIFT TET) and Intrauterine Inseminatin (IUI). Infertile couples now have the technology to be able to conceive their own child in various ways(1).

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