Sometimes when a couple is unable to conceive after a long period despite medical treatments or has a problem, which cannot be resolved by medicine, then they are advised to undergo assisted reproduction. Most people identify ART or assisted reproduction techniques by the name of test tube baby. In simple words IVF/ICSI or test tube baby means to take an egg from a female and a sperm from a male, fuse them together in a lab to make what is called an embryo. This embryo is the first block or cell of a baby. Once the embryo is formed and developed it is put back in the uterus. This procedure can have a lot of other add on depending on the patient’s problem. Some extra features are:
In some males there are no sperms in the semen sample. This can be because of either lack of sperm production in the body or lack of transport. In either case, though there are no sperms in the semen, these males can father their own children if sperms are removed from the body and used in ICSI. Sperm retrieval can be done either with a small needle or by a larger cut under magnification depending on the cause of the problem. In our center, we offer all our male patients to father their own children without the need to opt for donor sperm initially
In older age females of in those who have stopped having periods, the process of egg formation stops. These females too can have children by using eggs from young fertile women provided by egg banks. We provide egg donation cycles in patients who need such treatments.
Generally in an IVF cycle the success depends largely on the quality of embryo transferred and the uterine receptivity. Uterus and its receptivity though can be measured by generally not altered. However, we can check the chromosomal makeup of embryos and select only those embryos for transfer, which appear chromosomally competent. This is especially important in cases with known genetic disorders like thalassemia. Embryo biopsy has help identify disease free embryo and ensure lesser abortion rates and higher delivery chances.
In some cases it is believed that the embryo is unable to come out of its shell to get attached to the wall of the uterus. Using a laser, the wall of the embryo is weakened so that the process of embryo hatching may be facilitated. In our center, we provide this facility in cases that need it without any additional cost.
IVF or test tube baby is a process of making embryos in a lab. Sometimes either extra embryo is formed or the uterus is not ready to take in the embryos. In all such cases, embryos can be frozen in liquid nitrogen without any damage to their quality. In our center, we routinely freeze all extra embryos of our patients, without any cost for not just the first but subsequent pregnancies as well.
As the professional life becomes important, many females wish to postpone childbearing. Sometimes a female diagnosed with cancer needs to undergo chemo or radiotherapy which may jeopardize childbearing. In all such cases we can do egg stimulation, take out the eggs and freeze them till the woman is ready to get pregnant.
When a man is unable to visit his wife regularly or may not be available during a treatment cycle, his sperms may be frozen for use. In cases where boys/ men are scheduled to undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy, sperm freezing is a readily available, easy option to have children at a later date.
In cases where multiple IVF has not given a pregnancy despite good embryos, we need to look closely into the uterus as well. ERA is a genetic test of the uterine receptors responsible for making the embryo to get attached. This test helps to identify the best time of embryo transfer.
Once an embryo is formed in a laboratory after IVF/ICSI, the clinician needs to identify which embryo is the best for transfer. This can be done by understanding their structure, growth rates, etc. normally embryos are transferred after 3 days of culture called cleavage stage transfer. But in good laboratories it is possible to culture, embryo up to day 5 or 6 and then transfer. This is called a blastocyst transfer. Embryos at this stage are better adapted to get attached to the uterus. In our center, blastocyst transfer is a routine.