In our clinics, fertility treatment is always based on a thorough diagnosis. The doctor (or reproduction specialist) will have an in-depth consultation with you to become familiar with your individual case so that any possible treatment can be aligned exactly to your needs. Therefore, it may turn out that your treatment varies from the example of an artificial insemination plan represented below.
To make egg extraction and egg transfer possible, we must be able to accurately predict your cycle. For this reason, we may recommend that you take the contraceptive pill during the preparation phase. This makes it possible to selectively control your cycle and prevent an uncontrolled pregnancy. Taking GnRH analogues, which prevent production of the body’s own fertility hormones and thus prevent premature and uncontrolled ovulation, provides extra control.
At the beginning of your next cycle, you then come to our practice and we start the rest of the treatment together.
To increase the treatment’s chances of success, we will start with hormone treatment within the first three days of your cycle. The follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulates follicle growth so that several eggs mature in the ovaries at the same time. Hormone treatment is administered once a day by injection and continues for 11–13 days, depending on egg maturation. If high-purity or biotechnologically produced FSH is used, you can easily administer the injection yourself at home. Our doctors will gladly advise and instruct you in this regard. After approximately seven days of treatment, the state of egg maturation is determined with an ultrasound and a blood analysis, and the hormone dose adjusted if necessary. In addition, the optimal time for ovulation can also be established with this examination.
If the eggs have matured sufficiently and are capable of being fertilized, treatment with FSH and – where applicable – GnRH analogues is ended. Ovulation is triggered through an hCG injection. This injection you can also administer yourself at home, if you wish.
Approximately 36 hours after ovulation, the matured eggs can be extracted from the ovaries. Under anaesthesia, the follicle is pierced with a fine needle through the vagina and the eggs extracted. You will then remain with us for a few hours until the anaesthesia has worn off completely. The extracted eggs are fertilised in our laboratories on that same day. For this, we need a fresh semen sample. With the IVF method, the sperm must penetrate the eggs on their own in the nutrient solution. We monitor this process in the laboratory and transfer any fertilised eggs to the incubator for further development.
If at least one embryo has matured the day after artificial insemination, we will arrange an embryo transfer date with you. We transfer, at most, three embryos at a time to the womb or fallopian tube. The transfer is carried out with a thin, flexible catheter and is usually painless.
After the artificial insemination, we continue to provide you with care in our clinics. Hormones are often administered in the form of hCG or progesterone injections to support implantation and embryo development. If you don’t menstruate, you can perform a pregnancy test and, if the test is positive, arrange to come to us for your first ultrasound examination approximately two weeks later.
Allow yourself to relax: The artificial insemination process entails a lot of waiting, which can be stressful. We know how hard it is not to put yourself and your body under too much pressure. You should nevertheless try to continue going about your normal everyday life and not use up all your energy thinking about fertilisation.
No physical exertion: You should avoid strenuous sports activities, very hot baths, saunas and excessive sunbathing, particularly after embryo transfer. This physical stress can have an impact on the success of fertilisation.