One of the best-known fertility treatments is in vitro fertilisation, also known as IVF, a technique whereby an egg is extracted from the uterus and then, fertilised in the laboratory (in vitro) with semen from the partner or donor.
The ovaries are stimulated to obtain several ovules, which are extracted using ovarian puncture and then, once fertilised in the laboratory, are implanted in the uterus to achieve pregnancy.The purpose of the process is to obtain high quality embryos to increase the likelihood of achieving pregnancy.
In vitro fertilisation can be used in cases of male and female fertility alike.
There are three types of in vitro fertilisation treatment:
If you opt for an anonymous donor (the first and second options), remember that under Spanish law the identity of sperm and egg donor is never revealed, nor will the identity of the baby born be revealed to the donor.
If the third option is chosen, your partner must accompany you to the clinic and participate in the process, since both a semen sample and as hormonal stimulation are required to obtain good quality embryos, thus increasing the likelihood of conception.
IVF-Spain is deeply committed to going beyond the mandatory studies for accepting donors in accordance with Spanish law by performing additional tests for greater levels of security when using of donor eggs and sperm.
Conventional in vitro fertilisation (IVF)
With conventional in vitro fertilisation, the oocyte (egg) is incubated with the semen sample in a culture dish so that the sperm can fertilise it naturally. This technique is used with excellent quality semen.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
With ICSI in vitro fertilisation, the embryologist selects and microinjects the sperm into the ovule to fertilise it. This fertilisation technique is used in cases of poor quality sperm. To improve the success rate of this treatment, the embryologist selects the highest quality sperm which is most likely to fertilise the egg.
Sometimes, when there is a considerable number of good quality ovules available, embryologists may use a mixed fertilisation technique, whereby half of the oocyte are fertilised using conventional IVF and the other half with ICSI.
Step 1: Ovarian stimulation
At IVF-Spain, ovarian stimulation is part of in vitro fertilisation treatments performed according to personalised protocols to obtain sufficient embryos and increase the likelihood of achieving pregnancy.
Ultrasound examinations are performed during this ten to 20 days period, which lasts between, to check that the patient is responding to the drugs prescribed and that her follicles are growing steadily to reach the optimal size to guarantee puncture and, therefore, reproductive success.
Step 2: Follicular puncture and aspiration
Having observed a considerable number of oocytes of a suitable size for maturing, ovulation is triggered and transvaginal guided ultrasound follicular puncture and aspiration are scheduled. This minor procedure is performed in an operating theatre under mild sedation, so the patient experiences no discomfort and can resume a normal life just a few hours after the procedure.
Step 3: Embryo fertilisation and culture
During in-vitro fertilisation treatment (IVF) Ovules are fertilised in the IVF-Spain laboratory following the instructions of our team of embryologists, all highly prestigious embryologists of high repute.
Embryos are cultured in the laboratory under constant supervision, controlling multiple parameters, since success of in vitro fertilisation is largely dependent on the quality of the laboratory. IVF-Spain is equipped with embryos monitoring technology that provides constant information about cell division. This information is of vital importance when selecting the embryo with the best potential for implantation. All embryos are monitored in incubators and are kept in optimal conditions for development until the moment of transfer.
The clinic stays in constant contact with patients, keeping them informed of the evolution of their embryos, and all the steps that make up the treatment.
Step 4: Embryo transfer
Embryo transfer is a very special moment for patients because it's their first contact with the embryo after the initial treatment phase.
It’s a quick, painless process during which the doctor inserts a cannula through the cervix (the neck of the uterus) and deposits the embryo.
Except in special cases, IVF-Spain recommends transferring a single embryo, because we have advanced technologies that enable us to select the most viable embryo for implantation, giving a higher rate of success with fewer fertilised ovules.
Step 5: Embryo vitrification
After the transfer, the remaining good-quality embryos are vitrified for use in subsequent cycles, obviating the need to repeat the stimulation and follicular puncture phases of the treatment.
*The viability of the treatment depends on the medical diagnosis.