A Patient's Guide To Embryology
In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a complex process and the science behind the techniques can be overwhelming and extremely complicated. Inside IVF is created by embryologists to provide patients with easy-to-understand explanations to guide you through your treatment cycle. Find answers to the most frequently asked questions, find out what happens behind the laboratory door and explore the science underpinning your outcomes.
Often, patients only have a brief meeting or phone call with their embryologist which can cover a huge amount of information in a short space of time. Polar body extrusion, pronuclei formation, egg maturity, fertilisation, embryo grading, genetic analysis, freezing techniques... for an embryologist it is near impossible to provide an in-depth explanation of all these aspects which are undeniably crucial in your treatment. The result is that patients are either faced with an overwhelming amount of information to process in the moment, or are instead left confused and wanting to know more.
The world of IVF is very fast-paced with advances in technology emerging almost weekly. This has led to a surge in costly 'add ons' available from most clinics. Some could be the difference between success and failure, whereas others might be totally unsuitable for you and your situation. With all the information you need available in one place you can take control of your treatment, engage in meaningful discussions with your embryologist and feel prepared to make informed decisions to optimise your treatment.
Why Grow Embryos Outside the Body?
The ability to create embryos in a laboratory has offered hope to millions of people who would have previously been unable to have a baby naturally. This may be due to infertility affecting men such as a low sperm count or hormonal imbalances, or female infertility reasons such as advanced age, endometriosis or polycystic ovaries.
IVF is not only for people suffering with subfertility - it may be necessary to create embryos in the lab for genetic testing to help people with a family history of genetic diseases avoid passing on a life threatening condition to their baby. IVF treatments can also help same sex couples and single people who need to use donor eggs or sperm to create embryos. For many couples who want to have a baby there may be no clear reason at all why they are struggling to conceive and they are simply given a diagnosis of 'unexplained infertility'.