This involves the fertilisation of eggs with sperm in an incubator in the laboratory.
IVF treatment requires more eggs than in a natural cycle so the ovaries are stimulated to increase the number of mature eggs available for fertilisation. The eggs are collected from the ovaries using ultrasound guidance. The sperm from the partner or a donor are specially prepared and mixed with the eggs in the laboratory to allow fertilisation to occur.
After three to five days in the incubator, one or two of the resulting embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus through the cervix and hopefully, they will then develop as they would in a normal pregnancy. This is particularly applicable to women whose fallopian tubes are absent or damaged. IVF is also appropriate for other fertility problems such as endometriosis, unexplained infertility and male infertility, as well as the egg donation programme.
Our state of the art (unique in Essex) Embryoscope Plus incubator allows your embryos to be developed in optimum conditions without disturbance, while embryologists check their progress through cameras. Its time-lapse technology also means embryologists can view a video of the embryos’ progress to help them choose the best one.
In conventional IVF at least 100,000 sperm must be placed with each egg to have a realistic chance of achieving fertilisation.
ICSI treatment involves the injection of a single sperm directly into each egg. The treatment leading up to and after ICSI is identical to the conventional IVF cycle.
As only a small number of sperm are required for ICSI, this treatment is appropriate for couples where the man has low numbers of normal, motile sperm and would be unsuitable for treatment with IVF unless donor sperm is used. In addition, because the sperm does not have to penetrate the egg membrane itself, it is also suitable for couples who have had unexplained failure of fertilisation in previous IVF treatment. ICSI is only recommended in cases of proven male factor infertility.
Embryos are monitored carefully and graded as they develop, and in the past were usually transferred 2-3 days after egg collection routinely. Now we routinely culture to the Blastocyst stage. 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 2 or more good quality embryos are available on day 3, blastocyst culture may be recommended. Blastocyst culture is available to all patients and is part of our IVF package.
We are entrusted with the most precious gift in the world, your future baby, which is why we have developed the most advanced laboratory.
We are delighted to offer a new and revolutionary treatment which is proven to increase IVF pregnancy rates. EmbryoScope™ Treatment enables our embryologists to not only nurture your embryos but select the most viable ones for transfer, giving you the best possible chance of IVF success.
A new time-lapse technology called the Embryoscope™ involves culturing embryos in an incubator equipped with a special microscope, camera and computer. Available since 2011 it has already led to the birth of thousands of healthy babies. Each individual embryo is imaged separately and monitored every 15 minutes allowing subtle changes in development to be detected. This allows selection of embryos with the highest pregnancy potential – so-called morphokinetics.
Up to 70% of embryos appear normal when observed on a daily basis using older incubation systems yet do not go on to give successful pregnancy after transfer. The ability to more accurately select an embryo capable of pregnancy on the basis of the time-lapse imaging is an exciting development. It is also thought that embryos identified in this way are less likely to lead to early pregnancy loss than other systems and preliminary results are excellent.
Research comparing pregnancy rates using the EmbryoScope and a standard incubator indicated a “20% relative improvement in pregnancy rate per egg retrieval using the EmbryoScope.”
Embryonic development is dynamic. By continuously monitoring every stage of development, the embryologists are able to select the best, most viable embryos for transferring, at the right time.
Unlike traditional incubation techniques which routinely require embryos to be removed for assessment under a microscope, the EmbryoScope’s internal camera records development whilst maintaining optimal culture conditions. Embryos remain undisturbed.
This pioneering technique provides precious, real time video imagery of every moment from the beginning of life for you to cherish. Should you wish to have a video showing the development of your transferred embryo in our laboratory, please ask the Embryologist during your treatment