IVF & ICSI

In Vitro Fertilisation

The most effective fertility treatment

The term In-vitro fertilisation or IVF, literally means fertilisation “in glass” and refers to the process where a person’s eggs are fertilised outside of the body in the laboratory. Using sperm, embryos are created which are then transferred back to the uterus a few days later, or frozen for use at a later date.


The first successful IVF baby was born in 1978 in Manchester, England. Since then, millions of babies have been born through IVF and ICSI treatment.

Who is IVF/ICSI suitable for?

IVF/ICSI is specifically recommended for those with absent, blocked or damaged fallopian tubes. It is also often used in cases of unexplained infertility. Where there is male factor subfertility it can be used in combination with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). It is also an option for those wishing to become pregnant with the assistance of donor sperm.

IVF involves four stages

Ovarian Stimulation & Monitoring

Egg Retrieval

Fertilisation & Culture

Embryo Transfer

Step 1

Ovarian Stimulation & Monitoring

Under the care of our team, a woman is given fertility medications, mainly in the form of injections to stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple follicles. Follicles are the small fluid filled structures within the ovaries, each of which will hopefully contain an egg.

The number and size of the developing follicles is measured by trans-vaginal ultrasound scans. The exact number of follicles which develop varies greatly between patients. One of the purposes of testing is to give you and us an idea in advance of how many follicles and eggs may develop.

The final preparation for egg retrieval involves a hormone injection which mimics the natural trigger for ovulation. Egg retrieval will take place 36 hours after this injection.

Step 2

Egg Retrieval

Egg retrieval is a minor theatre procedure which is carried out in the clinic under sedation.

A trans-vaginal ultrasound probe is used and a needle attached to the probe is carefully passed through the vaginal wall into the ovaries and follicles.

The ovarian fluid within each follicle is aspirated and then examined in the IVF laboratory by the embryologist for the presence of an egg.

After identification, the eggs are washed and transferred into a special culture in an incubator.

Step 3

Fertilisation & Culture

While the egg retrieval is happening, the sperm is also prepared. A semen sample is provided by the male partner or the donor sperm sample is prepared for use. In the laboratory, a concentrated preparation of the best motile sperm is extracted from the semen sample. This sperm preparation (containing approximately 150,000 sperm) is added to the dishes containing the eggs, and they are incubated together overnight.

In some couples an alternative form of insemination is required called ICSI (Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection), which involves injecting a single sperm into each egg using a very fine needle, rather than mixing the eggs and sperm in a dish

Regardless of the method of insemination used, on the morning after egg retrieval, the eggs are examined to see which have fertilised.

Fertilised eggs (zygotes) are cultured in the IVF laboratory until day 5 or 6, the blastocyst stage. At that point the embryos are either transferred or frozen, depending on the individual circumstances. Any additional embryos that are not transferred at the blastocyst stage can be frozen.

Step 4

Embryo Transfer

The embryo transfer is a simple theatre procedure that does not usually require anaesthesia.

The embryo(s) are placed back into the uterus by the doctor by way of a small catheter inserted through the cervix. The fluid containing the embryo(s) is pushed through the cervix and into the uterus.

The correct positioning of the embryo(s) is confirmed by abdominal ultrasound, so the woman is required to have a full bladder for the procedure.

All inclusive Fertility Treatments for one price

Our complete packages include everything you need with no hidden costs.

*Not included: Donor Sperm

IVF & ICSI
FAQs

Can you transfer more than one embryo?

Yes it is of course possible to transfer multiple embryos. However in most cases we usually recommend transferring just one or two. The reason for this is to try to avoid a multiple pregnancy. While twin or triplet pregnancies can be very healthy, they do come with increased risks. In order to reduce this risk, we like to try for a healthy singleton pregnancy. If your medical and fertility history indicates, we may advise to transfer more than one embryo.

Can IVF help me fall pregnant?

IVF is the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology and for the majority of cases, IVF or other fertility treatments can help you realise your dream of becoming pregnant.

How successful is IVF?

IVF is not something which can ever be ‘a sure thing.’ A core part of the consultation process in advance of your treatment is for our team to inform you of what we think your chance of success is based on your history and test results. This will help you make the most informed decision about the process and whether it is right for you. Most women and couples who undergo IVF will succeed but it can sometimes take multiple attempts. However, through our evidence based fertility treatment, we are confident that our team of experts can help to give you the best shot at a successful outcome.