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IVF Fertilization

Texas Fertility Center is solving the “mystery” of what happens during IVF fertilization

If you’re using in vitro fertilization (IVF) to grow your family, you know that this is a multi-step treatment. Most patients understand ovarian stimulation, the egg retrieval and the embryo transfer because they take part in these steps. However, IVF fertilization can seem a bit more mysterious. After all, you aren’t there when our Austin infertility center team combines the eggs and sperm to create embryos. To shed some light on this subject, here is an overview of how fertilization works in the laboratory.

Taking a look inside our laboratory to explore IVF fertilization

The first step in this process is to examine your eggs and sperm using a high-powered microscope. Our laboratory team will determine the maturity and quality of each egg. When looking at the sperm, our andrologists assess its sperm count, morphology (shape), motility (movement) and other related factors.

Next, the team at our Austin infertility center will take the mature eggs and place them in petri dishes with a special culture medium. They will place these petri dishes in an advanced incubator to mimic the natural conditions of a woman’s body.

To fertilize the eggs, our embryologists will combine them with sperm using either conventional fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

The conventional IVF fertilization method strives to have the sperm penetrate and fertilize each egg on its own. To achieve this goal, our embryologists place the sperm in a petri dish that contains a single mature egg.

For a more advanced option, our embryologists use intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). This technique involves using a needle and a sophisticated microscope to inject a single healthy sperm into each egg.

With both techniques, our embryologists will place the petri dish that contains the egg and sperm in the incubator. They will then check for fertilization the next morning.

Exploring how our team decides which fertilization technique to use

At our Austin infertility center, your doctor will review your medical history and test results before recommending a fertilization method. However, your doctor will likely suggest that you use IVF with ICSI if you have had failed IVF cycles in the past or have severe male infertility. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is a great option to help bypass these barriers to conception.

Contact us if you would like to learn more about IVF fertilization or any other fertility treatment. You can rely on the TFC team to answer all your fertility questions and provide the support you need to welcome a healthy baby.