Ottawa Fertility Centre
Offering compassionate care, understanding, and hope on your journey.
Ottawa Fertility Centre
Offering compassionate care, understanding, and hope your journey.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Embryo Transfer
Risk of Multiple Birth
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a technique in which a single sperm is placed into an egg. ICSI is the biggest advancement in fertility treatment since in vitro fertilization (IVF) and has allowed many men to have genetically-related children. Since ICSI requires very few sperm, it can be an effective treatment for men with severe sperm abnormalities. Typically, ICSI uses ejaculated sperm, but surgically retrieved sperm can also be used. ICSI is performed as part of an IVF cycle.
Laser Assisted Hatching: In the normal process of implantation the embryo has to break through its gel-like outer covering called the zona pellucida prior to attaching to the endometrium. Some embryos may have a tougher zona pellucida than others. It is possible to make a small opening in the zona pellucida using a laser, just before the embryo transfer. This technique is called laser assisted hatching.
Blastocyst culture is used to sustain embryo growth in the lab beyond three days. After five days in culture, embryos reach the blastocyst stage, where they have more than 80 cells surrounding a central fluid-filled cavity. This longer period of embryo culture permits an improved ability to choose the healthiest embryos for transfer and is associated with a higher pregnancy rate, while transferring fewer embryos.
Embryo Vitrification: Excess embryos may remain after your in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle and fresh embryo transfer. These embryos may be suitable for cryopreservation or freezing. Embryo cryopreservation provides the opportunity for additional attempts at pregnancy from a single IVF cycle.
Vitrification is a specialized freezing technique whereby embryos are cryopreserved using an ultra-rapid cooling technique, turning them into a glassy solid instead of ice, and by doing so avoiding ice-crystal formation which can be very detrimental to their survival. The Ottawa Fertility Centre introduced vitrification in 2011 and has seen very good post-thaw results. Improved post-thaw survival rates of embryos means better pregnancy and live birth rates in frozen embryo transfer cycles.