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Sunday, 1 June 2014

In vitro fertilisation

Once the eggs are collected, there are two methods of making embryos. The most common method is IVF. In vitro literally means in glass. So fertilisation that happens in petri dishes that were originally made of glass was termed in vitro fertilisation or IVF. The other method is called ICSI or Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection which I will cover in the next post.

The eggs that are retrieved through aspiration of the follicle fluid are surrounded by a fluffy coat of small cells that surround and nourish the egg. These cells are called cumulus cells. These cells are also crucial for the maturation of the egg. In the natural cycles, the released egg is  surrounded by the cumulus cells. These cells are dispersed by the enzymes released from the head of the sperms (acrosome). This dispersal allows the sperms to reach the egg and one of the sperms is selected by nature to fertilise it.

The procedure is carried out on the same day as the egg collection and solution with specific concentration of motile sperms is added to the culture drops on the petri dish that contain the eggs. This mirrors what happens in nature. We rely on nature to certain extent to allow the best sperm to fertilize each of the eggs retrieved. It is generally recommended to fertilize eggs using this technique whenever possible. Next post on ICSI.....

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