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Infertility Treatment - 
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) for In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Overview
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
Where To Seek Treatment
KK Women's and Children's Hospital
KKIVF Centre

Overview

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is a group of different methods used to help a couple conceive by artificial or partially artificial means. It works by removing eggs from a woman's body, which are then mixed with sperm to be fertilised into embryos.These embryos are then put back in the womb for pregnancy.

The IVF Centre at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KK IVF Centre) offers a comprehensive range of diagnostic and treatment procedures for 3 infertility.The pregnancy rate is about 40%, which u is comparable with the best in the world.These procedures include:


In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

This involves combining the eggs and sperms together outside the body, leading to fertilisation in the laboratory. After fertilisation, the embryos or fertilised eggs are allowed to grow for a short period of time before being implanted into the uterine lining. A successful pregnancy can be confirmed about two weeks later.

Initially used more in cases where the fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged, IVF is now used to treat many causes of infertility, such as endometriosis and male factor, or when a couple's infertility cannot be unexplained.

The basic steps in an IVF treatment cycle are:

  • Ovarian stimulation: Medication or "fertility drugs" are used to stimulate multiple eggs to grow in the ovaries rather than the single egg that normally develops each month.
  • Egg retrieval
  • Fertilisation and embryo culture
  • Embryo transfer

Some advances in IVF treatments at KK IVF Centre include:

  • Laser assisted hatching for repeated IVF failure and thick zona (the shell of the egg). 
  • Blastocyst culture, which extends the cultivation of embryos by three more days in the lab, and choosing the more advanced embryos to increase the chances of implantation.
  • Ultrasound-guided embryo transfer, which uses ultrasound technology to place the embryos into the womb more precisely.
  • Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, which involves the screening of embryos for pre-existing genetic conditions, prior to implantation.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

This method involves directly injecting a healthy looking sperm into the cytoplasm of an egg through its shell.This is used when the sperm may be unable to fertilise the egg even in close proximity using the conventional IVF method, which is usually due to severe sperm factor.

Complications

Like all medical treatments, fertility programmes such as IVF and ICSI carry some risks.

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, these include:

  • Ovarian hyperstimulation, where the ovaries become swollen and painful.
  • Multiple pregnancy. Many fertility treatments increase the chance of pregnancy by increasing the number of eggs produced by a woman or by replacing more than one embryo into the womb, hence resulting in multiple pregnancy and multiple births (twins or triplets). Multiple births carry risks to the health of both the mother and the unborn babies.The risk of premature delivery in multiple pregnancies is high, and babies may be born too early to survive. Premature babies require prolong and intensive care and may run the risk of lifelong handicaps due to preterm delivery.
  • Higher risk of ectopic pregnancy, especially if the woman has existing problems that affect her fallopian tubes.
  • Miscarriage
  • Physical, financial and emotional stress associated with costly treatments with a high incidence of failure at any point of the treatment.


Need indepth information ?

Access our Conditions & Treatments sections for related topics on Infertility and In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) / Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm (ICSI) .

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