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Houston Fertility Center

IVF and the Insemination Stage

By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on January 23, 2014

Houston IVF Insemination StageAt Houston Fertility Center, our philosophy is to provide the best medical care possible in a supportive setting, using only state-of-the-art technology. In evaluating women for in vitro fertilization, or IVF, we don’t preclude “difficult” cases based on age and other factors that could cause them to be turned away by other fertility clinics. We determine their candidacy, and if there is a possibility that IVF will be effective, we explain their odds of success and the costs associated with treatment, and we leave the decision to them.

At our fertility center in Houston, IVF insemination and all of the stages of IVF are handled with the utmost meticulousness to ensure the highest possible chances of achieving successful pregnancies. In this blog post, we will discuss the actual insemination process at the heart of the IVF procedure.

Egg Retrieval

Prior to the insemination stage, eggs are retrieved either through the back of the vaginal wall or, on rare occasions, the abdomen. These eggs are then passed along to the embryologist to identify and inseminate.

The Insemination of the Eggs

There are two methods we use to inseminate eggs at our fertility center. The standard insemination process involves transferring tens of thousands of sperm to the dish in which the eggs are contained.

If necessary, we use the intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI, technique. Using a high-powered microscope, our embryologist injects a single sperm into a single mature egg via a micro needle. This technique improves the chances of successful fertilization in cases in which there is a male factor problem, such as poor motility or poor morphology. ICSI is also used in all instances in which the sperm is surgically retrieved from the male rather than through ejaculation.

Between 14 and 18 hours after the introduction of the sperm to the eggs, fertilization evaluation is performed. The fertilized eggs are called zygotes. These zygotes are cultured in a specially formulated culture medium that promotes their growth and development. Over the next few days, the embryologist will continue to monitor the growth of the zygotes, ultimately determining the quality of the embryo. If there are sufficient numbers of zygotes, some may be frozen for later use, if necessary.

Success Rates

At Houston Fertility Center, our success rate in inseminating eggs as part of the IVF procedure compares well to national averages, especially when one considers that we leave the final decision about whether to undergo IVF to our patients rather than turning away demographically undesirable candidates. Our state-of-the-art laboratory provides the ideal environment for the fertilization of eggs, while our highly trained staff provides care of the highest standard.

Learn More about IVF

If you would like to learn more about IVF or the insemination stage of IVF in particular, we would be pleased to answer your questions. If you would like to schedule an appointment at Houston Fertility Center, please contact us today. We would be pleased to evaluate your candidacy for the procedure and advise you of your options.

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