During IVF, an egg is fertilised using sperm from the woman's male partner and is then reimplanted in the uterus of the woman. There are two variants of this procedure - hormone-free IVF pure and hormone- assisted IVF active.
What is in vitro fertilisation?
In the case of IVF, an egg is brought into contact with prepared sperm in a Petri dish. This thus involves spontaneous fertilisation by high quality spermatozoa that are subject to natural selection.
The growth of eggs in the woman is first monitored closely by means of ultrasound scans. As soon as a follicle has reached a certain size, ovulation is induced by means of administration of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). Then, 36 hours later, transvaginal puncture of the follicle is performed. The follicle is punctured with a fine needle, and the liquid contained is extracted together with the egg.
Although the process takes only a few minutes, it is performed under mild anaesthesia. This reduces the potential stress and the patient is allowed home after a short observation period in one of our patient rooms.
The sperm is obtained by means of masturbation, assuming the vas deferens are not blocked. This can be performed at our Kinderwunsch Institut, or at home; in the case of the latter, the sperm must be transported to our institute within one hour.
Of course, we cannot give you any general recommendation; after all, fertility and the prospects of a successful pregnancy depend on many different factors. If you have any of the following conditions, IVF could be the perfect way to the child you’ve been waiting for for so long:
A mandatory precondition for successful fertilisation is the absence of any negative findings in the case of the partner's sperm.
Over the whole procedure, you will be psychologically supported and advised by our selected experts.
We have two methods called IVF pure and IVF active, which are hormone-free and hormone-assisted variants.
In the case of IVF pure, the woman decides not to receive hormones, trusting her body to do the necessary work. The advantage of this is that the patient does not have to have the regular injections. However, the procedure results in only one egg per cycle becoming mature. This, on the one hand, reduces the chance of successful fertilisation, but on the other hand it reduces the costs of the treatment. IVF pure is a suitable option for women under the age of 35 years with a normal ovarian egg reserve (and thus an appropriate level of anti-Müllerian hormone) for their age.
In the IVF active variant, the ovaries are stimulated to produce more follicles by means of the administration of hormones. The advantage is that several eggs are fertilised and the best developed embryo can then be selected for implantation. The active involvement of the woman, who has to inject the hormones herself, can be a very positive experience for her. IVF active is a suitable option for women of any age with a normal or only slightly reduced ovarian egg reserve that will respond to the administration of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).
The natural system created by evolution to select the right egg during a cycle is so effective that it is perfectly logical to depend on it.
It is always good to trust in Mother Nature. A notable characteristic of the early 21st century is the increasing re-emergence of traditional medicines. People are more and more resorting to the use of European folk herbal remedies, Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine and homoeopathy.
Thus apparent is the commencement of a trend towards a preference for medical treatments that are in close touch with nature. Only if these prove ineffective do people turn to the option of conventional medical procedures.
In view of the above, IVF pure means for the woman/the couple that:
1. The woman avoids the need for hormone stimulation.
2. She may feel that hormone stimulation is something that is outside
her control. She has no way of influencing the effects of the hormones. These are in command and do something to the woman's body that she has no power over.
3. The woman will not have to deal with any anxiety caused by the need
for injections and to self-inject.
4. Without injections, fewer ultrasound scans are required. Fewer
appointments means less need to take time off work.
5. By means of luteinising hormone (LH) tests, it is possible to determine when the body gives the signal for ovulation and thus when the golden moment has arrived to extract the egg.
6. Anaesthesia ensures the procedure is both painless and safe.
As only one egg comes into question, there is no possibility of selection. This single egg on its own determines whether the procedure is successful or otherwise. This does mean that several attempts may be necessary before pregnancy is achieved. For us at the Kinderwunsch Institut this means that we need to accommodate our prices to the
financial situations of couples to make a number of attempts affordable for them. However, transfer to the IVF active program is possible at any time.
The patient for whom the IVF pure program is ideal is under 35 years of age and has a normal ovarian egg reserve (confirmed by levels of AHM).
IVF pure can also be a second-line treatment for patients over the age of 35 years whose ovaries (no longer) respond to hormone treatment (IVF active) by promoting the development of more than one egg.
By means of the use of hormones, it is possible to stimulate all the eggs of a treatment cycle to mature. This means that the random natural selection of one egg is supplemented by the opportunity of allowing all eggs to show what they are capable of in a Petri dish.
The number of viable embryos produced by mammals directly correlates with the number of nipples of the female. The birth of human twins is not a particularly rare event, but occurs in 5% of cases of spontaneous conception. However, a single pregnancy is the rule. Using hormones, it is possible for me to bring to maturity all recruited eggs and indeed any number of eggs I want. The hormones need to be carefully dosed and have a direct dose-related effect. They are given by subcutaneous injection, a painless and safe procedure. Even couples with a phobia of injections realise after the first injection that the process is both easy and effective.
Advantages from the point of view of the woman/the couple:
1. This is a procedure that gives them the feeling they are actively contributing towards obtaining more than one viable embryo (positive experience).
2. As more embryos are available, selection is possible. Success or otherwise is not dependent on one single reasonably good egg. Alternatives are available.
3. The nature of the dish culture means that the embryo with the best potential can be identified.
4. Other embryos can be frozen and used later, if necessary, for subsequent hormone treatments.
5. The procedures - stimulation, puncture and transfer - provide the best statistical chance of successful egg extraction and embryo implantation.
6. In certain cases, the Austrian IVF Fund will assume 70% of the costs of treatment.
1. The cost of treatment is higher because of the need to use medication.
2. There is little risk of undesirable effects. In rare cases there may be bruising at the site of injection or mood swings.
3. Very rare is the occurrence of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). However, this can be readily treated using the appropriate methods.
The IVF active approach results in several eggs being encouraged to grow. All these can potentially be fertilised. To avoid the possibility of multiple pregnancy, we use only one egg - unless otherwise instructed by the couple. The others are frozen and can thus be used at a later time point. This artificial fertilisation procedure is thus such that significant medical risks to mother and child are avoided. The patients for whom the IVF active program is ideal can be of any age assuming they have a normal or only slightly diminished ovarian reserve that responds to follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).