What is IVF?

IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), also called “test tube baby” is a method of fertilizing eggs with sperms outside the human body, in a special laboratory. The resultant embryo is then placed in the womb, where it grows naturally. This is a form of assisted reproduction which can help couples achieve pregnancy, in cases of infertility.

Which infertile couples need IVF?

• Patients who fail to conceive with medical treatment/ unexplained infertility,
• Very low sperm count/ motility,
• Poor quality eggs, elderly women,
• Blocked Fallopian tubes,
• Severe endometriosis,
• Inheritable diseases (PGD),
• Repeated miscarriages (PGD).

What happens during IVF?

Initial meeting consists of clinical history, review of old records & physical examination. Semen test, ultrasound & hormonal tests help in deciding the exact treatment.

The actual steps of IVF are as follows-                                                                 
• Ovulation induction with daily injections to form multiple eggs,
• Follicular monitoring & blood tests to check growth of eggs,
• Egg retrieval with a needle under anaesthesia,
• Egg fertilization in a laboratory,
• Embryo transfer to the uterus.
A blood test is performed after two weeks, which assesses the establishment of pregnancy.

What is ICSI?

ICSI (IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection) is a technological advancement over IVF.

In ICSI, a single sperm is directly injected into the egg, with help of a micromanipulator.
It is of great help in cases of male infertility, egg defects & repeated IVF failures.

Can males with very low/ absent sperm count become fathers?
In males where there is a complete absence of sperms in the ejaculate, sperms can be retrieved from the testis & used for ICSI.
The sperm retrieval techniques are- PESA (PerCutaneous Sperm Aspiration), MESA (Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration), TESA (Testicular Sperm Aspiration) and TESE (Testicular Sperm Extraction).