In Vitro Fertilisation treatment (i.e. IVF or ICSI) involves fertilisation of the woman’s eggs outside her body, under controlled laboratory conditions.
In order to promote the development of multiple eggs, a course of fertility drugs (lasting approximately two to four weeks) is administered. Each follicle should contain one egg (however this is not guaranteed). At the ARGC, we monitor every patient’s cycle very closely, with serial ultrasound scans and daily blood hormone tests, to keep a close eye on the body’s reaction. Treatment cycles are altered according to the female’s ongoing response, with each patient essentially receiving tailor-made stimulation.
Providing an adequate response to treatment is obtained, the egg collection procedure is scheduled approximately 36 hours following an evening ‘trigger’ injection that works to mature the eggs. On the day of egg collection, both partners are required to come to the centre. The male partner will be asked to provide a sperm sample whilst his partner is having her eggs collected. The egg collection is performed under intravenous sedation, or occasionally general anaesthetic which is administered by an anaesthetist.
The egg collection requires the use of a vaginal ultrasound probe to allow for the visualisation of the follicles in the ovary. A thin needle is then directed into the ovary to aspirate the eggs, which are then collected by the embryologist. Occasionally, a laparoscopy may be required if the ovaries are not accessible vaginally. It is rare for no eggs to be retrieved. The woman should be ready to go home, accompanied by her partner, approximately two hours after the egg collection.