In Vitro Fertilization is a process by which an egg is fertilized by the sperm outside the body: in vitro. In Vitro Fertilization is a treatment that is used for the treatment of infertility when other methods of assisted reproduction fail.

What is in vitro fertilization?

The process involves the control of a woman’s ovulation process, the woman’s egg or ovum is removed, leaving the sperm to fertilize them in a fluid medium in the laboratory.

When a woman’s natural cycle is monitored to collect a natural selection of ovules for fertilization, it is called natural cycle fertilization; the fertilized ovum is then transferred to the patient’s uterus with the intention of a successful pregnancy. The first successful birth of a “test tube baby” occurred in 1978. Louise Brown nation as a result of an in vitro Fertilization in natural cycle. Robert G. Edwars, a physiologist who developed the treatment, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2010.

The term in vitro, comes from Latin, which means crystal. This term is used since the first biological experiments related to tissue culture outside the living organism from which they came were carried out in glass containers such as beakers, test tubes or Petri dishes. Nowadays, the term in vitro is used to refer to any biological process that is performed outside the body, usually to differentiate it from those procedures that are performed within the living organism which are called in vivo procedures.

A common term for babies conceived with this technique is that of “baby test tubes”, refers to test tubes used in laboratories, however, in vitro fertilization is generally performed on deeper containers called breastplates.

According to the guidelines of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s IVF it is indicated in infertility for women who have not conceived after 2 years of unprotected sex.

In order for In Vitro Fertilization to succeed, it requires basically healthy eggs, sperm that can fertilize, and a uterus that can maintain a pregnancy. Due to treatment costs, this option usually arises after other less expensive options have failed.

There are many reasons why a pregnancy cannot be achieved after in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer treatment, including:

  • The timing of ovulation may have been misinterpreted, or may not be predicted, or may not occur.
  • Attempts to obtain oocytes that develop during the controlled cycle may not be successful.
  • The oocytes obtained may be abnormal or may have been damaged during extraction.
  • A suitable semen sample may not be available.
  • Fecundation of oocytes to generate embryos may not occur.
  • Cell division of fertilized oocytes may not occur.
  • The embryo may not develop normally.
  • The implementation may not take place.

Failures with equipment, human infections or errors, or other unforeseen and uncontrollable factors, which may result in loss or damage to oocytes, semen samples or embryos.

The ability to freeze and then thaw and transfer embryos has also significantly improved the effectiveness of IVF. Another significant moment was the development of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) by Gianpiero Palermo in Brussels in 1992. This has allowed men with minimal sperm production to get pregnant, sometimes in conjunction with sperm retrieval, using a testicular needle Thin or open testicular biopsy, so that even men with Klinefelter Syndrome can sometimes get pregnant.