Fertility Center Procedures
This is a technique in which the male's sperm are prepared in the laboratory and then placed into the female's uterine cavity.
In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
If a woman has abnormally functioning or blocked fallopian tubes, in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is an option. In this procedure, ova are aspirated from the ovaries and placed in a dish in the laboratory. They are then combined with sperm cells. After fertilization, the embryos are inserted back into the woman's uterus.
Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT)
In this procedure, egg and sperm cells are inserted separately into the fallopian tube to aide in fertilization.
Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT)
Similar to GIFT, except that the eggs placed in the fallopian tubes are already fertilized. The fertilized eggs are placed into the tube, not the uterus. They then travel down the fallopian tube and into the uterus, as they would in a natural conception.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
This procedure involves surgical placement of a single sperm into an egg. This is considered the most effective treatment for male infertility.
Cryopreservation of Preimplantation Embryos
Cryopreservation is the process of freezing and preserving tissue for future use. Sperm, egg or embryos can be cryopreserved. At the end of a fertility cycle a larger number of embryos may be produced that can be transferred at one time. Cryopreservation is used to store the "extra" embryos for future use.
- Endometriosis testing (antiendometrial Antibody "AEA" Assay)
- Pregnancy testing
- Antisperm Antibody testing
- Endocrine testing
- Artificial Inseminations (from donor sperm)
- Oocyte (egg) donation
- Pediatric adolescent gynecology
- Abnormal sexual development
- Natural hormone replacement therapy
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Epididymal sperm aspiration
This procedure is used when sperm are not able to move through the genital tract on their own for such reasons as failed vasectomy reversal or congenital absence of the vas deferens or seminal vesicles.
- Comprehensive semen analysis
- Antisperm Antibody testing
- Sperm functional analysis
- Sperm washing and capacitation
- Cryopreservation of semen: Cryopreservation is the process of freezing and preserving tissue for future use. Sperm, egg or embryos can be cryopreserved. At the end of a fertility cycle a larger number of embryos may be produced that can be transferred at one time. Cryopreservation is used to store the "extra" embryos for future use.
- Male hormone replacement
Other Fertility Services
Donor egg procedures
Some women are unable to conceive for a variety of reasons including poor egg quality or ovarian function, surgical removal of ovaries due to chemotherapy or genetic issues. In these situations, the use of donor eggs becomes an option when seeking treatments that will lead to the conception of a child.
The egg donation process involves a donor selected by the recipient couple, known or anonymous, who will go through ovulation induction to produce multiple eggs. The eggs are retrieved from the donor and fertilized with the recipient's partner's sperm and the embryos are then transferred to the recipient. It is important to understand the role of each participant, the donor, recipient and recipient's partner when exploring the option of donor eggs as fertility treatment.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a procedure than can be used to treat many causes of infertility. The first step in doing intrauterine insemination is the collection of a semen sample at the CAMC Andrology Lab or at home. If the semen is brought in from home, it should be collected in a sterile container, kept warm and delivered to the Andrology Lab within 30-45 minutes of collection. The semen sample is then "washed." Washing is a procedure in which the moving sperm are separated from the non-moving sperm. The moving sperm are suspended in a small amount of fluid. The sperm washing takes about 1 ½ hours. Once the sperm is washed, it is inseminated into the woman with a procedure that is generally no more uncomfortable than a Pap test. The inseminations are generally done by the physician or nurse coordinator.
The procedure is as follows: As determined by a transvaginal ultrasound, once follicular development has occurred and follicle(s) have been found to be of optimum size, ovulation is induced with an injection of hCG. hCG (in the form a medication named Ovidrel) is an injection which will require administration at home, and the nurse coordinator will provide detailed instructions on this technique. Approximately 36 hours after the hCG injection, the IUI will take place in our office.
It is a relatively painless procedure, and similar to that of having a pap test performed. A sterile speculum is placed into the vagina and the cervix is then cleaned with sterile cotton swabs. A syringe and very small catheter containing the washed semen specimen is inserted through the cervix and placed high into the uterus. After the speculum is removed, the female patient will be asked to remain in a lying down position for approximately 20 to 30 minutes to maximize the use of gravity in assisting the sperm cells to reach their goal. After the period of rest, the patient is encouraged to go about her daily routine, remembering that moderation is the key to most activities. Occasionally, patients will get cramp-like pain following the procedure. This is usually mild, and will pass in several hours. Patients may also experience light spotting after the procedure. Since water is used on the speculum and cervical mucus tends to be abundant at the time of ovulation, a slight watery discharge can also be expected.
Specialized technologies may be used to assist the fertilization process. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injections and Assisted Hatching are two methods available at the Fertility Center
Intracytoplasmic sperm injections
A single sperm cell is injected into the egg to cause fertilization and minimize damage to the egg. This procedure may be the most effective for infertility due to male factors.
This technique "helps" prepare a fertilized egg to be implanted in the mother's uterus. It is believed that by manipulating the outer shell of the egg in older mothers may help a successful pregnancy "take."