February 28, 2014

IVF and the Insemination StageWhen it comes to something as precious as introducing a new life into the world, it is important that you entrust your fertility treatment to professionals with experience, compassion, state-of-the-art technology and techniques, and a history of success. Founded by Dr. Richard Dickey in 1976, The Fertility Institute was responsible for the first in vitro fertilization (IVF) in the Gulf South more than three decades ago. Since then, we’ve been responsible for many other Gulf South and even nationwide firsts, including the first successful IVF pregnancy in a woman older than 44 in the United States. Our extraordinary track record attracts couples from throughout the region and the country.

Part of the reason for our success is our devotion to treating every IVF case with the same unsurpassed care and gentle, precise touch that has proven so successful throughout our history. It is important that every stage of IVF be carried out with meticulous attention to detail, from beginning to end. At our fertility center in New Orleans, IVF insemination and every other phase of treatment is performed with this unwavering commitment to fulfill the dreams of our hopeful patients.

Another reason for our success is our strong belief that patient education is at the heart of a successful fertility treatment. As part of our education of both our current and our prospective patients, we offer the following information about the IVF insemination process.

Egg Retrieval and Insemination

Before the insemination stage, we must first retrieve the eggs to be inseminated. Usually, eggs are retrieved through the back of the vaginal wall. In some cases, however, the patient’s anatomy lends itself better to egg retrieval via the abdomen. As with every treatment we perform, we always use the technique most likely to produce successful results.

After the eggs have been retrieved, they are passed on to our embryologist for insemination. The conventional insemination process entails the transfer of thousands of sperm to the receptacle containing the eggs. However, if the quality of the sperm is poor, we use an alternative technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI. Using an extremely small glass needle, our embryologist picks up a single sperm and injects its head directly into a single mature egg. This technique dramatically improves the chances of fertilization when male factor infertility problems are present.

An evaluation of the eggs is performed between 14 and 18 hours after the introduction of the sperm to the eggs. Successfully fertilized eggs, called zygotes, are monitored carefully over the next few days. The zygotes that continue to grow and develop turn into embryos, the healthiest of which are candidates to be transferred into the hopeful mother’s uterus. Zygotes that are not used can be frozen for later use, if further IVF cycles become necessary.

Learn More about the Stages of IVF

The better you understand the various stages of the IVF process, the more confident you will be in the decisions you make regarding your fertility treatment. For further information or to schedule your initial appointment at The Fertility Institute, please contact our fertility specialists today.