In Vitro Fertilisation (“IVF”) And Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (“ICSI”)

On this page:

  1. Introduction.
  2. What Is IVF & ICSI?
  3. When May IVF & ICSI Be Used?
  4. Possible Risks.
  5. Find Out More.

Introduction

Flinders Fertility has been at the forefront of assisted conception techniques since the late 1970s, providing couples with the hope of achieving a successful pregnancy and of giving birth to a healthy baby.

Fertility clinics such as Flinders Fertility add to reproductive choices and potential self-determination, and can be said to offer, at the very least, the prospect of hope where before there may have been none.

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What Is IVF & ICSI?

IVF is the process of fertilisation by combining an egg and sperm outside the body in a test tube. When the IVF procedure is successful, the process is combined with a procedure known as embryo transfer, which is used to physically place the embryo in the uterus.

ICSI is a technique utilised to inject a single sperm into a mature egg with a very fine glass needle by means of a micro-manipulator in order to achieve fertilisation, unlike conventional IVF. A single motile, mature, normal looking sperm is selected for injection under a high magnification microscope.

The general  steps in an IVF and embryo transfer cycle are:

  1. Stimulate the development of a number of follicles in the ovaries.  The ovarian follicle is the fluid sac containing the egg.
  2. Cycle monitoring.
  3. Trigger ovulation.
  4. Collect the eggs (follicular aspiration) and collect the semen containing sperm.
  5. Combine the eggs and sperm together in the laboratory and provide the appropriate environment for fertilisation and early embryo growth.
  6. Transfer embryo/s into the uterus.
  7. Luteal Support.
  8. Blood Test for pregnancy.

For further information, please view our "IVF - What To Expect" video.

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When May IVF & ICSI Be Used?

IVF and ICSI may be used:

  1. For damaged or blocked fallopian tubes or pelvic adhesions with distorted pelvic anatomy.
  2. For male factor infertility, including decreased sperm count and blockage.   ICSI is an IVF procedure that can fertilize eggs even with poor sperm quality or low sperm count.  Please go to our "Causes of Infertility" page for further information.
  3. After cycles of Ovulation Induction (“OI”) or Intrauterine Insemination (“IUI”) have failed.
  4. When the woman is of advanced age (over about 38 years of age).
  5. Endometriosis.
  6. Treating fertility issues caused by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
  7. For unexplained infertility.  Unexplained infertility means standard fertility tests have not found the cause of the fertility issue.

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Possible Risks

Possible risks of IVF and ICSI include:

  1. IVF can be stressful as it requires a significant physical, emotional, financial, and time commitment.
  2. The medication used to stimulate follicle growth during an IVF cycle may cause bloating, abdominal pain, mood swings, headaches, and other side effects.
  3. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) occurs in some women who have an over response to the stimulating medication. It is a relatively uncommon but potentially serious complication, so a great deal of care is taken to avoid it. OHSS may be mild, moderate or serious. The more severe symptoms of OHSS, which is very rare, include the following: severe abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, decreased urinary frequency, dark-coloured urine, shortness of breath.
  4. Risks of egg retrieval include reactions to anesthesia, bleeding, infection, and damage to structures surrounding the ovaries, including the bowel and bladder.  These serious complications are rare.  In a small number of women the introduction of the embryo transfer catheter into the uterus produces abdominal cramping and short term vaginal bleeding.

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Find Out More

At Flinders Fertility we recognise that a website may not cover all your information requirements.  That's why we offer a number of information options. So, if you want to find out more about IVF and ICSI, either:

  1. Call on 131 IVF (131 483) to talk to one of our Fertility Specialists.
  2. Email us at enquire@flindersfertility.com.au.
  3. Seek a referral to Flinders Fertility from your Doctor.

If you require the aid of an interpreter please let us know, as well as any specific regional dialect that you may require.

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