The main difference between these two techniques and the artificial insemination is that the oocyte fertilization by the spermatozoon occurs in the laboratory and not inside the female reproductive systemÂ as per AI or spontaneous fertilization.
The Spanish Fertility Society (SEF) establishes the following recommendation for the application of this treatment:
The stimulation using specific hormones is necessary to provoke a multiple controlled ovulation and the adequate maturation of the oocytes.
At IMER we screen the stimulation of the ovary function with ecographic controls and regular hormone analysis in order to optimize the results of the cycle, guarantee the best maturation of follicles, obtain a sufficient number of oocytes and lastly for an early detection and prevention of a Ovary Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS).
When the number and size of the follicles is adequate another pharmacological hormone combination is given to the patient to induce the final maturation of the oocytes and provoke in a precise moment the ovulation.
Whenoocytes are mature they are retrieved via the transvaginal oocyte retrieval, a technique involving an ultrasound guided needle piercing the vaginal wall to extract the oocytes. This technique is the safest and most efficient way to obtain the oocytes for the IVF / ICSI cycles. It is a simple and painless procedure during which the patient is sedated, it lasts about 15 minutes.
After the retrieval, in the lab with the help of the microscopes, the oocytes are prepared and then preserved in an incubator with special culture techniques.
In the classic InÂ VitroFertilization (IVF)the patients oocyte are put in contact with the processed semen sample of the partner or the donor. In this way spermatozoon has to penetrate the oocyte membrane and generate an embryo that will then be inserted in the motherâ€™s uterus.
In Introcytoplasmatic sperm Injection (ICSI) a qualified embryologist introduces a spermatozoon directly in the oocyte using micromanipulation techniques. This treatment is used when the sperm sample does not meet the minimum required quality and quantity parameters to ensure fertilization or when the couple has had no success in previous IVF cycles