Assisted Reproductive Techniques Essay Research Paper InVitro

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Assisted Reproductive Techniques Essay, Research Paper In-Vitro Fertilization or IVF IVF is the name for in-vitro fertilization, a procedure that involves retrieving eggs and sperm from the bodies of the male and female partners and placing them together in a laboratory dish for fertilization. The fertilized eggs are then transferred two to six days later into the female partner’s uterus. After the fertilized eggs are set into the uterus embryo development will hopefully occur as in a normal pregnancy. IVF is actually a four stage practice that begins with ovarian stimulation and monitoring. In order to maximize the patient’s chances for successful fertilization, physicians typically use ovarian stimulation medications instead of following the natural cycle which only

produces one egg. Ovarian stimulation causes several mature eggs to be produced for retrieval, fertilization, and transfer to increase the possibility that at least one will result in pregnancy. (See Figure 1) Ovarian stimulation involves the use of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This hormone is necessary to stimulate multiple oocyte, or egg, development. FSH is a gonadotropin, the name for a type of hormone capable of stimulating the ovaries to produce eggs. The female partner is usually stimulated to produce eggs by the use of HMG/ HCG. Careful physician monitoring is necessary to adjust dosages to prevent hyper stimulation and monitor the injections site for possible infection. The physician carefully monitors the patient with vaginal or abdominal ultrasound and blood

tests. The ultrasound scans provide an actual image of the ovaries and aid in monitoring follicle growth beginning approximately day eight of the cycle. The physician is monitoring the growth, number, size of each follicle, and any signs of difficulty that require alterations in treatment. Monitoring also determines the timing of the next step; egg retrieval. In the second step, once the follicle has ruptured, the physician attempts to remove as many eggs as possible. Not all of the eggs retrieved will be used in the current IVF cycle. Unhealthy eggs and any eggs that fail to fertilize are not used. The two methods used to retrieve eggs are laparoscopy and ultrasound- guided aspiration. In laparoscopy, a surgical procedure requiring general anesthesia, the physician uses a

surgical instrument called the laparoscope inserted into the ovaries. The laparoscope contains an aspiration system that uses light suction to retrieve the egg from the follicle. The result of each attempt to retrieve the egg from the follicle is immediately examined under a powerful microscope. If the egg was not retrieved, fine adjustments are made for following attempts until all the mature follicles have been retrieved. Ultrasound-guided aspiration is also performed under general anesthesia. The ultrasound image allows more accurate aspiration attempts because the physician can guide the needle into each follicle in order to withdraw the egg. After recovering the eggs, they are transferred to a sterile container to await fertilization in the laboratory. In the third step of

In-Vitro Fertilization, a semen sample is collected from the male partner approximately two hours before the female partner’s eggs are retrieved. These sperm are then processed, called sperm washing, using various laboratory techniques. Sperm processing helps selection of the strongest, healthiest, and most active sperm in the semen sample. The mature, healthy eggs are then placed together in the laboratory with the selected sperm. They are incubated at a temperature identical to that of the female partner’s body. After approximately 48 hours, the eggs that have successfully fertilized and are growing normally, are called embryos. The embryos are then ready for the next step which transfers them into the womb.(See Figure 2) Finally, embryo transfer occurs, which is done