In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) Treatment
IVF treatment helps couples who have difficulty conceiving, as well as single women and same-sex couples who want to start a family.
Your sperm and eggs, or cells from donors, are combined in petri dishes and placed in an incubator in a laboratory, to fertilise. After two-to-five days in the incubator, one or two of the resulting embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus, and hopefully they will then implant and develop as they would in a normal pregnancy.
IVF is particularly applicable to women whose fallopian tubes are absent or damaged. It’s also appropriate for patients experiencing endometriosis, unexplained female infertility, and male infertility. You can learn about the whole IVF patient journey here.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
Sometimes the cells need some extra help to fertilise, and we might recommend Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). With this technique, a single sperm is injected directly into each egg. Although this doesn’t force fertilisation to occur, it can help the process for some couples, for example where there are low numbers of sperm, where sperm motility is low, or where fertilisation has failed to occur in the past with IVF.
Long and Short Protocol IVF
Most patients have long protocol IVF, which starts with suppressing your hormones so we can take control of when you ovulate. This is called down-regulation, and at this clinic it’s done with tablets, medication called agonists. Later on, you take injections to stimulate your ovaries to produce follicles that will contain the mature eggs. Some patients have short protocol IVF in which the tablets aren’t required. The most appropriate protocol for you will be discussed during your consultations.
Antagonist (mild) IVF
Simply Fertility also offers antagonist cycles. The advantage of antagonist cycles is that treatment can be tailored closely to your individual needs. You take injections over a shorter period, minimising any discomfort and reducing the overall cost of medication. Another advantage is a reduced risk of ovarian hyperstimulation.
Embryos are monitored carefully and graded as they develop, and usually transferred 2-3 days after egg collection. Blastocyst culture involves allowing embryos to mature further (beyond ‘day 3’) in laboratory conditions before attempting to transfer them. In natural conception, embryos would not normally reach the uterus until day 5; this is called the blastocyst stage of development.
Blastocyst culture is available in our laboratory, and each patient’s cycle is assessed to see whether blastocyst culture is recommended. Generally, if 3 or more good quality embryos are available on day 3, blastocyst culture may be recommended.