We live in a world where the artificial means of procreation had found their places. We must to acknowledge that there are people in our society who have difficulties in order to procreate and who are using methods of assisted reproduction.
I am not going to exemplify the possible causes of the infertility, which can be feminine or masculine, but I will try to create a necessary glossary in terms of IVF.
What’s bothering me most is, when the patients pay for these procedures and they don’t really know for what are paying for.
In my opinion, it is important that they know more about these procedures, especially seven of them which are the most used for every patient who struggles with infertility. The most frequent confusion is between in vitro fertilization and insemination.
Insemination or IUI is a method which is applied for women which healthy tubes and uterus, but which encounter other difficulties on the level of their cervix or in cases of weak mobility of the semen. This method consists in directly introduction of the semen in the uterus in the day of ovulation and letting the ovum and the sperm to encounter each other as in the natural process. This is not an expensive method and it is not so invasive in comparison with other methods.
In vitro Fertilization or IVF is the most complex and expensive method and it is applied to women with both tubes obstructed or in the situations of polycystic ovaries (PCOS) or problems with the semen. The both, the semen and the eggs are collected and they are put together in the dishes where they fertilize. The embryos, which result after the fertilization, are staying in the thermostat until the day of transfer. On the transfer’s day, the doctors put inside the womb as many embryos they consider fit with the age of the mother.
There are other techniques, which doctors use in order to facilitate a good implantation of embryos or a good fertilization of the egg.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection or ICSI is a method used when the semen has a bad mobility , that’s why in the lab conditions, the embryologist picks the best sperm cell and using a fine needle, introduces the sperm cell directly inside the ovum (the egg). This way,he's facilitating the fertilization of the egg.
Assisting hatching or AH is a method in order to facilitate the bonding of the embryo to the womb. In this method, we just cut a little bit of the external membrane of the embryo, named zona pellucida because the region cut of the embryo has more affinity to stick to the womb’s wall.
Another two terms which are new discoveries in the assisted reproduction's field are:
In vitro maturation of the eggs—which means the eggs are collected in immature state and they suffer a maturation process in the lab conditions.
Testicular biopsy and sperm harvesting for IVF—this is a method use for males which are infertile or sterile, when after the testicular puncture, the embryologist can find immature sperm cells and they can help for maturation of these cells in the lab conditions. This is really a very helpful method for the couples with male infertility.
Cryopreservation is a very well known method which helps to maintain our cells, eggs or semen and embryos on the low temperatures for a very long time with the help of liquid nitrogen. This is not just a method use in IVF, but help also people to preserve their cells in an effort to familial planning.
I consider you must to be inform about the techniques used in your case, the reasons for using these methods and to acknowledge what you are paying for, because the time spent in IVF clinics is not enough in my opinion to clarify all these matters.