What Is In Vitro Fertilization?
What is the IVF process?
On a high level in vitro fertilization means fertilizing a human egg outside the body. Having the embryo develop within the laboratory and then either cryopreserving it or transferring it to a properly timed uterine cavity. IVF is over 40 years old there are over 8 million babies born. It's a stepwise process that involves not only taking your egg donor and preparing her to have many eggs retrieved. But also having embryologists take a human egg that was never meant to see the light of day and fertilize it with the intended father's sperm through a process called I Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) where we inject one sperm into one egg and then put it in an incubator.
What does an incubator do during the IVF process?
An incubator is a very special place it's in a low oxygen environment and is temperature-controlled & humidity controlled. This is where those little eggs with the sperm now injected in them are placed and allowed to grow over a period of five, six, and seven days. During those days the eggs go from one cell to two cells to four cells to eight cells to sixteen to thirty-two and then they basically blossom into what we call blastocyst.
What happens during the blastocyst stage?
Those blastocysts represent the first major developmental step of our human embryo and it's those blastocysts that are then either cryopreserved or biopsied and then cryopreserved or transferred at that point in time. After the embryo transfer, the in vitro processes is complete. The laboratory process the embryo and then it's up to the embryo sticking and the biology of the embryo forming into an early pregnancy which results in hopefully your child to be.