In Vitro Insemination: What is it? When is it used? Procedure and Rate of Success

It is a type of assisted reproduction technology that involves retrieving ovules from a woman’s ovaries and fertilizing them with sperm.

In vitro insemination is also known as in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The fertilized egg is known as an embryo. The embryo can be frozen to store it or transfer it to the woman’s uterus.

The term in vitro is of Latin origin meaning “inside the glass”. In consideration of the above, in vitro is the technique that is performed outside the body, within a test tube, in a culture medium, or in any other artificial environment.

Insemination or in vitro fertilization, literally means ” conception in the laboratory “. The ovum is fertilized with semen in a Petri dish.

A few days after fertilization, the best embryos are transferred to the mother or the surrogate uterus through a catheter in the cervix.

When is in vitro insemination used?

Because the ovules are obtained directly from the ovaries and the embryo is transferred to the uterus through the cervix, in vitro insemination does not require open and transparent fallopian tubes.

Women with blocked fallopian tubes can use in vitro insemination to achieve pregnancy.

In vitro insemination is also used for cases of male infertility that can not be overcome with the treatment of IUI or other treatments.

In some cases, men without sperm in their semen can get sperm directly from the testicles or the vas deferens. Men with low sperm counts are more likely to achieve the success of in vitro insemination treatment.

This procedure can also be used in conjunction with ICSI, which involves taking a single sperm and injecting it directly into an egg.

Although sperm are injected directly into the egg, fertilization is not yet guaranteed, but the chance of successful pregnancy is much greater with ICSI than without those who need this procedure.

In vitro insemination can also be used in cases of unexplained infertility, women who need an ovum or embryo donor, those who use a traditional substitute or a gestational carrier, or after multiple failed fertility treatments.

The procedure

The in vitro insemination procedure may be slightly different for different people, depending on which assisted reproductive technologies are being used and whether it is donated ova, sperm or embryos.

There are also some situations that cause the cancellation of a cycle in the middle, either because not enough follicles grow or due to a high risk of severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome .

That said, this is a basic description of the procedure

In general, a woman will start taking birth control pills or an injectable medication that prevents ovulation during the pre-treatment cycle, interrupting the woman’s normal ovulation cycle.

This is so that the doctor can regulate ovulation and not lose the ovules before recovery. After the initial blood test and an ultrasound, the woman will start taking medications for stimulating ovulation, usually gonadotropins.

In in vitro insemination of minimal stimulation, Clomid is used or ovulation-stimulating medications are not used, but this is unusual.

The clinic will monitor follicular growth and hormone levels with ultrasound and blood tests every few days.

When the follicles are ready, the woman will receive an injection of hCG to mature the ovules.

Egg retrieval will be scheduled a very specific number of hours after the injection, during which the woman will receive IV sedation and the eggs will be recovered through a needle guided by ultrasound through the vaginal wall.

While the woman has the recovery of the ovum, the man will provide the sample of semen.

Sometimes this is done once in the recovery and also sometime before the recovery day (and frozen), in case of problems or anxiety when creating the sample.

The semen will undergo a special washing procedure, and the eggs will be placed in special care. The sperm will be placed with the eggs, with the hope that the fertilization takes place.

A few days later, an embryologist will help select the most healthy embryo from fertilized embryos, and your fertility doctor will help decide how many embryos to transfer.

The surplus embryos can be cryopreserved for a later cycle, donated to another couple or thrown away.

Success rate

Your chances of successful IVF will depend on a variety of factors, including your age, cause (s) of infertility, use or not of donor eggs, previous results of treatment and the experience of the clinic in your particular needs.

In general, IVF treatment has excellent success rates. For women under 35 years of age, the percentage of live births per IVF cycle was around 41 percent.

Success rates decrease with age, with a success rate of 12 percent for women 41 to 42 years old.