In-vitro fertilization, or IVF, has been used as a catch-all for all assisted reproduction treatments, but it’s actually a unique procedure aimed to help women with structural obstacles to fertility (for instance, damaged Fallopian tubes) or other fertility problems, like low egg counts; it may also be recommended for mild cases of male fertility problems; for couples working with a surrogate; for couples who have already undergone several unsuccessful rounds of IUI; and for couples who require genetic screening. It involves a woman first taking hormones to stimulate her ovaries’ production of eggs. Then, a specialist will collect the egg(s), along with a semen sample from the partner or donor. The egg(s) and sperm will be placed in the same laboratory dish until a sperm fertilizes the egg, and the resulting embryo(s) will be transferred into the uterus of the female partner or surrogate.
Pros: Because IVF involves actually fertilizing an egg and ensuring a viable embryo, it’s typically thought of as the procedure that offers the best chance of pregnancy.
Cons: The hormones that women undergoing IVF must take can cause side effects ranging from the mild/irritating (mild cramping, breast tenderness, mood swings) to the serious (ovarian stimulation syndrome); more expensive than IUI.
IVF might be the best option when sperm count is low but motility and morphology are normal. With IVF we put sperm and eggs into contact with one another in a petri dish to facilitate fertilisation of egg and sperm. It’s better to go for IVF when possible as it allows a more natural selection of the best sperm to ideally fertilize the egg.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI, is a more targeted method of IVF aimed at helping men who have fertility problems, such as low sperm count or poor sperm mobility. The same general procedure is followed, but instead of placing egg(s) and sperm in the same laboratory dish and waiting for fertilization, a single, healthy sperm cell will be extracted from the man’s semen sample and directly inserted, in the lab, into the egg to fertilize it. The embryo is them transferred into the female partner or surrogate’s uterus.
ICSI is the process when one single sperm is selected and injected into each egg to achieve fertilization. We would choose ICSI when motility or morphology are abnormal and it’s even very successful when the motility and morphology are severely impaired.
In today’s episode of The Fertility ShowThe main parameters we are considering are three things
In IVF, the egg and sperm (of which there are multiple) are left in a petri dish to fertilise on their own. In ICSI, one sperm is directly injected into the egg. ... Whilst IUI has lower success rates than IVF and ICSI, it is much more simple and is a non-invasive theatre procedure.
Deciding to have fertility treatment is by no-means an easy decision. There are many different types of fertility treatment available, and many things to consider.
Before you start making the big decisions though - such as choosing between IVF or ICSI treatment - it is important you have done your research and do not feel you are about to rush into anything. As highlighted in these 11 fertility facts, 80-90% of couples will fall pregnant within a year, without the need for assisted reproduction.
If, however, if you have been trying to conceive for over two years we’d recommend calling a member of the abc ivf team, or booking an Initial Consultation & Scan - this will provide a detailed insight into your fertility, will help inform you if you need fertility treatment and if so, which fertility treatment is best for you.
Is ICSI better than IVF? It depends. Research shows that IVF is just as effective as the ICSI procedure, where sperm is injected directly into an egg, when there is no male infertility factor. Cumulative live birth rates in Victoria were similar for IVF and ICSI in these circumstances. IVF is one of the most commonly used and successful fertility treatments, and is suitable for a wide variety of people and a wide variety of fertility issues. Hence, there are different types of IVF for different ages and conditions. For instance, the abc IVF criteria is best suited to women that are aged 37 or under, have a BMI under 30 and have a good ovarian reserve.