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In Vitro Fertilization

In Vitro Fertilization, also known as IVF, is a technique of medically assisted procreation. It is aimed at parents who have lived together for at least two years and fail to conceive despite regular sexual activity.

It consists of artificial fertilization performed in a test tube by combining a sperm (male gamete) and egg (female gamete). The embryo, at a minimum of stage 4 or 8, is then implanted in the uterine cavity.

The success rate of this procedure is about 25%. This technique is used after the identification of the cause of infertility, in case there are problems in the fallopian tubes in women or sperm abnormalities in men. The technique may also be used after several failed attempts at intrauterine inseminations.


While IVF does not have any symptoms, infertility manifests itself as difficulties or the inability of a couple to conceive a child.


The diagnosis of infertility for a couple is necessarily made before considering this kind of medical assisted reproduction technique. Tests to investigate the cause of the failure are done and cover possible hormonal balance, examination of the female genital tract by pelvic ultrasound, and a study of sperm in men.


In vitro fertilization is performed in three stages. The first includes the stimulation of the ovaries by hormone treatment. This allows multiple ovarian follicles to grow and, after the use of a drug triggering ovulation, to retrieve oocytes by follicular puncture under general anesthesia.

The second stage is an insemination test, where semen is collected by masturbation and kept. The most mobile sperm are collected and placed in contact with the oocyte.

The final stage includes the placement of one or two embryos into the uterus through the vagina.
Upon approval of the parents, the unused embryos are frozen. They may, if necessary, be implated later into the mother's womb.

In some cases, the direct implantation of sperm into the oocyte is performed. This is in case attempts at conventional IVF have failed, or if there is a case of azoospermia (the near complete absence of sperm in a puncture sample of the testis).


To increase their chance of getting pregnant, a couple should have regular sexual intercourse around the time of ovulation, an average of 14 days before the beginning of the next menstrual cycle. Stopping the use toxic substances, such as tobacco, alcohol or drugs, is also recommended as they have adverse effects on fertility.

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