InVitro fertilization (IVF)
WHAT: IVF involves combining eggs and sperm outside the body in a laboratory. Once an embryo or embryos form, they are then placed in the uterus.
WHY: All IVF treatments begin with a course of hormone therapy to stimulate the development of several follicles in the ovary. These are collected as eggs, which are then fertilized in a test-tube (’in vitro’) to create several embryos. After between two and five days in an incubator, one or two of these embryos are transferred through the vagina to the uterus, where implantation occurs and pregnancy begins.
HOW: IVF can be used to overcome a range of fertility issues, including sperm antibodies, endometriosis, and unexplained infertility. For many couples, it gives them the best chance of having a baby.