In Vitro Fertilisation with your own eggs and your partner’s semen is a laboratory technique consisting in fertilising previously harvested eggs with your partner’s sperm.
When is it recommended?
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Generally speaking, in a normal menstrual cycle, only one egg is produced each month. For In Vitro Fertilisation, it is preferable to obtain more than one egg, making it necessary to use hormones to stimulate the ovaries into producing several mature eggs at once. This type of In Vitro Fertilisation is ideal if there is an insufficient number of sperm to carry out Artificial Insemination or if the fallopian tubes are damaged or blocked, making it impossible to achieve a pregnancy by any other method. This technique is also recommended if several unsuccessful attempts have been made to achieve a pregnancy by means of Artificial Insemination.
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 the egg maturing and preparing for ovulation.
2. Egg harvesting and in vitro fertilisation
Harvesting the eggs is done by inserting a needle into an ovarian follicle and aspirating the follicular liquid, which contains the eggs. 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 sperm is being prepared by separating the motile sperm.
If the chosen technique is ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) the eggs are denuded, which means that the cells on the surface are removed, and a single sperm is injected into each one.
At our Clinic, we carry out ICSI in 99% of cases, unless we are told otherwise. If this happens, we would use classic In Vitro Fertilisation, in which sperm (between 50,000 and 100,000) are placed in the culture dish with the eggs, and the next day we check to see how many eggs have been fertilised. Obviously, a high 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, or for a future pregnancy. 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