In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

Key points of IVF

  • IVF includes an ovulation test, egg retrieval, sperm retrieval, and then in vitro fertilization in the lab to create an embryo.
  • The lab monitors embryo development using the latest time-lapse technology and then then the healthiest embryo is selected for implantation.
  • A follow-up visit will confirm if the embryo implanted successfully for pregnancy.
  • Each step of the IVF process requires strict operations and follows the medical process described below.

At Envita, everyone is a VIP – very important patient

And we have a thing for the small things: Each Envita patient gets a dedicated fertility coordinator, a patient’s personal care guide through every clinic detail, from the very first phone call to meeting your little miracle.

1. Body check before ovulation stimulation

The doctor will decide the suitable treatment method for the patient based on the patient’s physical examination report analysis. A more detailed examination report is provided, the easier for the doctor to find out the patient’s problems when a video consultation is being held. Thus, procedures before test tube surgery could be well prepared to ensure the future success rate.

2. Ovulation stimulation

Since only one dominant follicle develops in the natural cycle, correspondingly, only one embryo can be formed after fertilization, causing a low pregnancy rate by implanting only one embryo. That is why we need to use controlled superovulation stimulation to enhance and improve the patient’s ovarian functions. Superovulation can help the patient obtain multiple healthy eggs without being restricted by the natural cycle. It also provides multiple embryos for implantation and the possibility of synchronizing the corpus luteum development with the endometrial function.

The length of the menstrual cycle varies between different patients. A patient may have different menstrual days in different months. The medication dosage is adjusted according to the patient’s response after taking medicine. Patients at different ages and with different dosages may retrieve the different number of eggs. The fertility medications prescribed in the hospital are all strictly tested by the FDA (the United States Food and Drug Administration), so there is no need to worry the fertility medications will be harmful to your body. After one menstrual cycle, more eggs will be ovulated and produced through taking fertility medication.

3. Monitor the follicles

Transvaginal ultrasound is used to monitor the follicle’s size to evaluate the ovarian stimulation effect and determine when to retrieve eggs. With the transvaginal ultrasound, blood test samples are taken to check the E2 value (the estrogen level). According to the test results, adjust the medication dosage. Monitor and check follicle growth regularly. When the follicle matures, take HCG injections properly.

4. Egg retrieval

The most commonly used egg retrieval method includes the following steps: treat the patient with general anesthesia, then a thin tube is inserted into the ovary through the vagina, and the eggs are collected by suction. After that, observe through a microscope, immediately remove the mature eggs to a culture dish containing embryo culture media. Place the eggs in an incubator under the condition of 37°C.

After egg retrieval, abdominal bloating and edema may occur. The patient needs to rest in bed for 6 hours and avoid strenuous exercise within 24 hours.

5. Sperm retrieval

The sperm is retrieved on the same day as the egg retrieval day. Wash the hands first, then taking semen by way of masturbation. After a special washing process, together with the eggs, the semen will be put into a particular culture dish.

6. In vitro fertilization

The retrieved eggs will be placed in the same culture dish with the sperm for fertilization. For certain cases, the egg may be inseminated directly using intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

7. Embryo development

The lab team will culture the embryo to the fifth day of the cultivation when there are hundreds of cells in the embryo. At this time, the quality, shape, and structure of the embryo are more superior and stable, and it is easier to transfer to the uterus for pregnancy.

Time-lapse embryo incubator – the most advanced technology available

Embryos develop best inside the body, undisturbed. In the IVF lab, our time-lapse embryo incubator creates a similar protective environment for optimal embryo growth, while allowing our lab team and fertility specialist to gather data about each embryo’s development. The incubator takes images every 15 seconds over 5-6 days while the embryo grows, enabling continuous evaluation without disruption and data by which to select the healthiest embryo.

8. Chromosomes and genetic screening

The third-generation test-tube baby technology includes PGD genetic diagnosis and PGS genetic screening, which screens embryos before implantation, excludes problem embryos, helps select high-quality embryos for implantation, and ensures good childbearing and sound childrearing. By now, the PGS/PGD tests of the third-generation test-tube baby technology can detect 125 common genetic diseases, which is the most critical point for a success rate of IVF. PGS genetic screening is a screening method that can be used for all chromosomes of the embryo, which can check the missing number of chromosomes and the chromosome structure’s abnormality. Meanwhile, PGD genetic diagnosis can detect whether the embryo carries genetic mutations that may cause specific diseases.

9. Embryo implantation

Embryos passed tests of PGD genetic diagnosis and PGS genetic screening can be used for implantation. The doctor will choose to implant a female or male embryo as required by the patient. Meanwhile, after considering the patient’s requirement, physical and uterine conditions, the doctor will choose to implant single, double or boy-girl twins embryos. The patient should notice that the doctor will determine the appropriate implantation method according to the patient’s health situation, whether it is a single or double twins embryo.

10. Confirm pregnancy

A further blood test will be done to confirm pregnancy on the 12th to 14th days after completing the IVF procedure. During this process, the patient should keep the right attitude and healthy diet habits to ensure a successful pregnancy.