In addition to IVF and blastocyst transfer, the medical team at RMAPA uses several other advanced procedures designed to make treatment safer and more effective, including:
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
– In this procedure a small glass needle is used to inject a single sperm directly into the egg. ICSI is most commonly used when the man has a low sperm count or poor sperm quality. However, it can be used for other conditions as well. For men who don’t produce any sperm in their ejaculate but are able to produce sperm in the testes, doctors can also now remove sperm directly from the testes using an outpatient surgical procedure. The retrieved sperm can then be used in the ICSI procedure to inseminate the egg.
Assisted Hatching (AH)
– This procedure is performed prior to the transfer of embryos at an early stage of development in IVF. Immediately prior to transfer, the embryologists make a small hole in the outer layer of the embryo, called the zona pellucida, using a solution or laser. This procedure can make it easier for some embryos to implant.
– A couple with extra high-quality embryos may opt to freeze and store them for use in future attempts to achieve a pregnancy. This can eliminate the need to repeat the egg retrieval process.
Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
– This is a special procedure in which embryos are evaluated for genetic abnormalities prior to being transferred into the uterus during IVF. PGD can be useful for couples that have a known risk of passing on an inherited disease to a child. It is also an option for couples that have had multiple miscarriages, or for couples that are unable to achieve a pregnancy after several attempts at IVF or are at risk for producing a large number of abnormal embryos.
Oocyte (Egg) Donation
– Egg quality declines as a woman ages. Because of advancing age or some other health factors, many women are unable to produce healthy eggs or don’t have functioning ovaries. With oocyte donation, a young woman donates her eggs to another couple. The donor eggs are combined with sperm in the laboratory and the resulting embryos are transferred to the recipient using IVF. For many women, using eggs donated by another woman to create an embryo can make it possible to experience pregnancy and childbirth.