In vitro fertilization: what it is and how it works

What is it and how does in vitro fertilization work, one of the solutions chosen by many couples to start a pregnancy

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the main techniques of assisted reproduction. This is a system that over the years has allowed many couples to solve infertility and sterility problems. IVF (In Vitro Fertilization with Embryo Tranfer) must be distinguished from artificial insemination (IUI), which consists in inserting the male sperm directly into the woman's uterus.

What is in vitro fertilization

In in vitro fertilization, conception is artificially created outside the woman's body and, when the embryo has formed, it is inserted into the uterus, hoping that it will take root, starting a pregnancy. To carry out in vitro fertilization, therefore, the eggs and sperm are taken to carry out fertilization in the laboratory.

It is necessary to undergo 3 weeks of ovarian stimulation to take the woman's mature oocytes. This treatment will produce many eggs, to increase the chance of a pregnancy. Ovulation is stimulated by an injection of gonadotropins, 36 hours later the woman undergoes an operation under local anesthesia, during which the follicular fluid will be aspirated to take the oocytes. The spermatozoa are then taken to proceed with in vitro fertilization. For three days the man must abstain from any sexual activity, then he will be asked to ejaculate and the sperm will be used in the laboratory.

After obtaining male and female gametes, the biologist will practice in vitro fertilization. The best spermatozoa are washed and selected, those that show greater motility, and the eggs are isolated. Each egg is then cultured with the selected spermatozoa and stored in a 37 ° incubator. After 2 days from collecting the eggs from the woman, it is already possible to know the number of embryos that have formed.

When in vitro fertilization has ended, the embryos obtained are inserted into the female uterus through a thin tube. The operation is very rapid and does not involve any pain. After 12 days, the woman will be able to carry out the pregnancy test to find out whether IVF has been successful or not.

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