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Test tube children

The first successful attempt of extracorporeal fertilization (IVF) was made in our country more than twenty years ago. Nowadays IVF is believed to be one of widely applied and efficient techniques of treatment of various infertility types.

About twenty years ago newspapers brought to the world a new term “test tube children”. It stands for children born with the help of successful extracorporeal fertilization. But IVF children (as they are also called) are delivered in the natural way, though their conception mode is a bit different from that regular.

The natural conception is done in the uterus or in the Fallopian tubes where male gametes fertilize female ones creating an embryo.

Unfortunately, some types of male or female infertility make it impossible. In such cases the fertility specialist may recommend IVF. It consists of the following stages.

Ovulation stimulation

This procedure is necessary to intensify the ovarian function, produce a larger number of egg cells and eject them in the uterine tubes. A large number of embryos increase a possibility to achieve pregnancy.

Taking into account that the success rate of IVF pregnancies is around 35-45%, fertility specialists try to create as many embryos as possible to have some spare ones if further transfer attempts are necessary. The ovarian functioning is controled with ultrasound. As soon as follicles mature to the proper size, the ovaries are stimulated with medicines. 

Egg collection

Egg collection is performed by means of a needle with a special sensor under ultrasound control when a patient is under general anesthesia. In some situations, which make it impossible to collect an egg cell with a needle, it is collected with the help of laparoscopy.

Sperm sampling

When egg cells are collected, the intended father gives a sample of his sperm which is put in a special container and prepared for fertilization in the following way: it is washed from seminal fluid, which enables the embryologist to select most motile spermatozoa with good morphological properties. In case of excretory dysfunction sperm is collected by means of testicular biopsy technique (TESA).

In vitro fertilization

Collected oocytes are fertilized IN VITRO (in a test tube) and put into an incubator with special culture similar to a woman’s organism. This is the mode in which test tube children are conceived.

Embryo transfer

After three or five days after egg collection several embryos are transferred into the uterus of the woman. The remaining embryos with good properties are cryoconserved with the help of liquefied nitrogen at -196°C.

Conception with IVF is performed under constant and careful ultrasound monitoring by efficient specialists.

Lutein phase

Once embryos are transferred, a two-week maintaining therapy is done to help a woman’s organism accept them. In two weeks an hCG test is done. It shows whether the woman is pregnant or not.