The Patient's Guide to Embryology

The basics of every IVF cycle are the same:

  1. Ovarian hyperstimulation – hormone drugs are used to control the ovaries, stimulating them to produce multiple eggs simultaneously.
  2. Collect the eggs and prepare the sperm – once the eggs are at the correct stage of maturity they are collected from the ovaries in a simple procedure where a needle is inserted through the wall of the vagina. A semen sample is prepared at the same time to isolate the best sperm for fertilization.
  3. Fertilization – the eggs are inseminated using either traditional IVF or ICSI.
  4. Embryo culture – the embryos are grown in an incubator for up to 6 days.
  5. Embryo transfer and freezing – the best quality embryo is transferred and any surplus good quality embryos are frozen for later use.

Take a closer look

The basics of IVF are always the same: collect eggs and sperm, make embryos, transfer embryos. However, there are a lot of options to consider when planning your IVF treatment and there is certainly no one-size-fits-all solution. To make things even trickier, IVF is a fast-paced industry where new developments emerge rapidly and techniques are constantly changing. An IVF cycle that is optimally planned can maximise your chance of success and small changes can be the difference between success and failure. So what kind of treatments are right for you?

Add-on treatments

Add-ons are treatments which are not included as standard with an IVF cycle, but may help to improve success rates… Read more.

A closer look at the IVF process

Couples are usually referred for fertility investigations by their GP after 12 months of trying to have a baby without… Read more.

Think you might need IVF? Read this first

Once you have decided you want to try for a baby, it can become all-consuming. Watching the months tick by… Read more.

Timelapse incubation – is it worth the money?

Timelapse incubators allow embryologists to monitor embryos without disturbing them as they develop… Read more.

Does double embryo transfer double your chance?

A double embryo transfer is when you create embryos in the lab through IVF and place two of them into the uterus instead of one… Read more.

Frozen embryo transfer

The success rates of frozen embryo transfers have increased dramatically and the chance of getting pregnant is now equal to a fresh embryo transfer, if not better… Read more.

IVF vs ICSI – Which is more successful?

The main difference between IVF and ICSI lies in the way that the sperm fertilizes the egg. In IVF, the sperm and egg… Read more.

The harsh reality of IVF for PCOS sufferers

Women with PCOS are more sensitive to IVF drugs. PCOS can also affect egg quality, egg maturity, and the environment inside the uterus… Read more.

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