The term in vitro fertilization (IVF) means that the egg was fertilized outside of the body. During in vitro fertilization, either your eggs, or donor eggs, are removed and combined with sperm in a laboratory setting. Once your egg (or the donor egg) is fertilized, they are placed back into the uterus where they will hopefully implant for pregnancy.
In some IVF procedures, your egg or the donor egg are combined with sperm a sterile test tube or chamber. At this point in the in vitro fertilization process, a single sperm will enter the egg for fertilization. Another option for fertilization is intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), where a single healthy sperm cell is injected directly into your egg or the donor egg.
IVF has some variations to the procedure. Your physician may suggest a variation of in vitro fertilization based on the cause of infertility, the use of a donor egg or the
These IVF variations include:
Gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT)
Unlike traditional IVF, unfertilized eggs and sperm are transferred into the fallopian tubes laparoscopically. The eggs and sperm combine within the fallopian tube and then travel to the uterus for implantation.
Zygote intra-fallopian transfer (ZIFT)
A single-cell embryo, called a zygote, is placed into the fallopian tube where it will then travel to the uterus for implantation.
In this procedure, the fertilized eggs are allowed to mature to the blastocyst stage, which is a larger cluster of cells than a zygote. The embryo is then placed directly into the uterus.