Many patients have questions about laboratory fertilization during IVF
You’re not alone if you have questions about laboratory fertilization. This is an important step of in vitro fertilization (IVF), but it can also seem like a mysterious one. After all, you’re present for the other steps of IVF, including ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval and embryo transfer. However, fertilization occurs in the lab at our Dallas-Fort Worth fertility center under carefully controlled conditions.
At Fertility Specialists of Texas, our team wants to keep you informed throughout the IVF process. That’s why we’re explaining what our lab team does to help your eggs and sperm become IVF embryos.
Learn the basics of what happens during laboratory fertilization
Once your eggs and sperm reach the IVF lab at our Dallas-Fort Worth fertility center, our team will examine them. Using a high-powered microscope, our embryologists will determine the maturity and quality of each egg. At the same time, our andrologists will be assessing the sperm for factors that range from sperm count to morphology (shape).
The next step involves placing each mature egg into a petri dish that contains a special substance. This so-called culture medium provides all the necessary nutrients that the eggs and eventual embryos would receive in the female reproductive tract. An embryologist will then place each petri dish in a specialized incubator, which also mimics the conditions of a woman’s body.
Laboratory fertilization comes next, and there are two ways to achieve it.
- The first is conventional fertilization, which involves placing sperm into the petri dish with each egg. The goal is for the sperm to penetrate and fertilize each egg on its own.
- The other option is intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). During this process, an embryologist uses a specialized needle and microscope to inject a single sperm into each egg.
After performing the fertilization technique, the embryologist returns the petri dishes containing the eggs and sperm to the incubator. The embryologist will then check for fertilization the next morning. If fertilization is successful, IVF embryos will begin to develop.
Learn more about FST’s embryo grading process:
Discover who can benefit from each lab technique
When you visit our Dallas-Fort Worth fertility center, your doctor will help you determine which laboratory fertilization technique is right for you. They will do so by reviewing your medical and family history as well as your diagnostic test results.
Generally, your doctor will recommend ICSI over traditional fertilization in several situations.
- Previous failed IVF cycles
- Unexplained infertility
- Severe male factor infertility
- Sperm with poor motility (movement)
If you would like to explore IVF as an option to help start or grow your family, contact us to schedule an appointment. We’re here to help make your dream of parenthood a reality.