In vitro fertilisation with your own eggs and sperm from the sperm bank is a laboratory technique consisting of fertilising previously harvested eggs with sperm from an anonymous donor.
When is it recommended?
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The sample is ideal in terms of quality and quantity of sperm, as it has been obtained from a healthy donor. The fertilised egg becomes a pre-embryo and is transferred to the uterus to continue developing.This type of In Vitro Fertilisation is used if you want to be a single mother, if your partner is another woman or following several unsuccessful attempts at In Vitro Fertilisation with your partner’s sperm most likely due to male factor issues.
It is also used in cases of azoospermia (when the man has no measurable level of sperm in his semen) or when semen has been used unsuccessfully.
In rarer cases, if the man has a chromosome abnormality and for ethical reasons when a pre-implantation genetic diagnosis is out of the question (this technique, also known as Embryo Screening, is used to identify genetic defects in the embryo before it is implanted in the uterus).
1. Monitoring and stimulating the ovaries
The ovaries are stimulated by administering hormones (FSH, Follicle Stimulating Hormone and in some cases, Luteinising Hormone, LH) and the cycle is monitored using scans until the follicles reach the correct number and size. At this point, another hormone is administered that imitates LH, the hormone that naturally triggers ovulation (LH or Luteinising Hormone), and this results in an egg being released.
2. Obtaining the semen sample
The semen sample is obtained from a donor who has undergone a full medical check (semen analysis, blood and urine tests, general health examination, tests for sexually transmitted diseases and a psychological examination) to ensure the quality of their sperm and rule out any kind of abnormality. All donors are adults and sign a consent form that also guarantees their anonymity.
The semen is frozen before use and is kept in storage for a minimum of 6 months to safeguard against certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
3. Egg harvesting and in vitro fertilisation
Harvesting the eggs is done by inserting a needle into an ovarian follicle and aspirating it. The procedure is done while the woman is under sedation. Once they have been removed, the eggs are stored in a culture dish while the semen is prepared to separate the motile sperm.
If the technique that will be used is ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Aperm Injection) the eggs are denuded, which means that the cells on the surface are removed, and a sperm is injected into each one.
At our Clinic, we carry out ICSI in 99% of cases, unless we are told otherwise. In this case, we would use classic In Vitro Fertilisation, where sperm (between 50,000 and 100,000) are placed in the culture dish with the eggs, which are then checked the next day to see how many have been fertilised.
Obviously, a large number of eggs plus high quality sperm means there is a greater chance of obtaining embryos. This technique has the drawback of producing lower fertilisation rates, as the sperm is not injected directly into the egg.
The day after extraction and ICSI or fertilisation of the eggs we will know how many have fertilised. In the next 2 or 3 days these fertilised eggs become pre-embryos ready for transfer to the uterus.
On the day of transfer, between day 2 and day 5 after fertilization, as the case may be, the pre-embryos with the best developmental characteristics are selected. According to the law, we can transfer up to 3 pre-embryos, but on average, the most common number is between 1 and 2, depending on the day of transfer and the medical and personal characteristics of each patient.
The pre-embryos are inserted into a thin catheter and are placed inside the uterus, namely, in the endometrium, by the gynaecologist. No anaesthesia is required. Of the pre-embryos transferred, usually only one of them is implanted, but it should be borne in mind that in some cases more than one can be implanted, which would lead to a multiple pregnancy. This is why the number of transferred embryos must be adapted to each patient case.
The pre-embryos that have not been transferred are frozen in liquid nitrogen (this type of cryopreservation is known as Vitrification) and they are then carefully labelled and stored in the embryo bank. These pre-embryos can be used in subsequent cycles if a pregnancy is not achieved on the first attempt. Evidently, the treatment for preparing the uterus for the transfer of frozen embryos is much simpler as there is no need to stimulate the follicles and harvest the eggs.
Cost of treatment
Get your free 360º Fertility Assessment during your first visit if you request it before March 31.
This amount includes all medical procedures necessary for its performance, from your first visit to completion.
Medical treatments in Spain are exempt from VAT.
This amount does NOT include:
- The previous medical tests required, since they are different for each person depending on their medical history.
- The medication, as during the first visit your doctor will indicate the dose you need, depending on your case.
- The blastocyst culture, due to the fact that up until a few hours after fertilisation we will not be able to know whether the embryos have the potential to develop until this stage.
Travel and accommodation
At EUGIN, all the treatments are performed in Barcelona. You can get started right away, and from start to finish, the whole process tends to take around one month.
Be aware that travelling adds a significant cost, at EUGIN we do everything possible to reduce it to the minimum.
To do this we propose two methods:
Trips can be scheduled every day of the week (weekends included), to make it easier to fit them in to your schedule.
There is a possibility of scheduling a single trip to Barcelona to carry out the treatment. If you prefer this option, you can contact our patient care team, who will help you plan the whole trip. Depending on your case and the treatment you undergo, the stay may vary * from between 15 days to a month.
*If you require a visa, consider the possibility that your trip may be prolonged depending on your case and the treatment you undergo. Our patient care team will help you organize all the details of your stay.
Last Updated: February 2018