The male partner’s sperm will be used to fertilise the eggs and a sample of his sperm will be required on the day of egg collection. All the eggs collected from the woman are graded according to their development and left in an incubator for a few hours before being mixed with your partner’s selected sperm.
In an IVF cycle, the prepared sperm and egg(s) are placed together in assigned dish(es). In an ICSI treatment cycle, a single sperm is injected into each single mature egg, which are then put in an assigned dish. The dishes are left in the incubator overnight to allow fertilisation to naturally take place. Usually about 60%-70% of the eggs collected will be fertilised and it is rare for a patient not to have any fertilised eggs the next day, although sadly, it can happen.
Around 12 hours after fertilisation, the egg will start to divide. After 2-3 days, the embryos will usually consist of four to eight cells, and at this stage are ready for transferring into the uterus. In some cases, the embryos are left for 2-3 further days before transfer as blastocysts.
At each stage of the fertilisation process, our team will keep you informed of how the embryos are developing and when you need to return for embryo transfer.
The embryo transfer procedure is similar to a smear test and it may cause some minimal discomfort. One or two embryos are carefully transferred through the vagina and cervix to the uterus, where implantation begins.
If you have not had a period 14 days after embryo transfer, you should take a pregnancy test. If you are pregnant further medication may be prescribed to support the pregnancy and an ultrasound scan will be performed at around six or seven weeks’ gestation to confirm a visible heartbeat and ongoing pregnancy.
If, unfortunately, you do have a normal period, a follow-up consultation will be arranged and support counselling is available.