It is an artificial fertilization of the egg cell, which is performed in the laboratory of assisted reproduction.
The goal of this phase is to allow several oocytes to mature at the same time to increase the chances of success of the treatment. Hormone preparations are used for ovarian stimulation. By ultrasound and blood value determinations, the development of follicles is carefully and accurately controlled. The stimulation lasts about 8 to 12 days.
It consists of follicular aspiration, that means the egg retrieval by vaginal ultrasound. This is done in the operating room under mild anesthesia (sedation) and takes between 15 to 20 minutes. The patient can be discharged from the clinic 3 or 4 hours after the procedure.
The partner provides the lab with a sample of semen. The embryologists prepare the semen sample to obtain as many sperm as possible.
a) The egg cell is cultured together with a sufficient concentration of sperm. The sperm enters the egg’s interior without help.
b) Introduction of a sperm cell into an oocyte with a very thin needle.
After about 16 to 19 hours since insemination, it is checked how many eggs are fertilized. They are usually kept in the culture medium for between 2 to 6 days in an incubator until they are ready for transfer to the uterus. The development of embryos is controlled daily by embryologists.
The embryo transfer is performed via the vagina to the inside of the uterus. This procedure is painless and does not require anesthesia. The transfer is performed with a flexible and very thin cannula.
The best day of the transfer depends on the case. The development of the embryo and the characteristics of the patient must be considered. The embryologists find the optimal time for transfer between the 2nd and 6th day of development of the embryos.
Fifteen days after egg retrieval, a determination of the beta-HCG hormone in the blood is made to test the pregnancy.