IVF literally translates as ‘fertilisation in glass’. It is generally offered to couples who have achieved fertilisation or pregnancies in the past, or to those who may have tubal problems. Importantly, the sperm sample must be of a satisfactory quality.
A few hours after egg collection, the eggs are mixed with the prepared semen sample and placed together in an incubator. The eggs are examined for signs of fertilisation the next morning (this is considered to be Day One). Our current fertilisation rate is approximately 70%, however this is variable between patients.
At twenty-four hours post-fertilisation check (Day Two), the fertilised eggs (or embryos) are re-examined for signs of division. The embryo transfer may take place on this day or, more commonly, the following day (Day Three) or Day Five (see Blastocyst Culture).