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Oocyte Culture & Fertilization

The eggs that are collected at the operation are put in a special culture media for two to six hours before the husband's washed sperm are added in precise numbers.

The semen specimen is collected after cleaning the genitals with soap and water in a sterile container given by the IVF laboratory by masturbation. The semen is "washed" and the motile sperm are separated by various special techniques, incubated at 37oC and then added to the eggs in precise numbers. The eggs and the sperm are then kept in a special incubator for 48 hours. However they are observed after 18 hours to see the first signs of fertilization. If no fertilization is detected then a second sample of sperm may be added. Often we perform sperm micro-injection for these unfertilized eggs but most of these eggs may not fertilize as these eggs may have abnormal chromosomes. If the sperm sample showed poor motility or poor sperm survival then a single sperm is injected into the egg by a technique called sperm micro-injection (ICSI), which is described later in the website.

If the fertilization is normal the embryos will start dividing within 36 hours. We normally transfer embryos at 48 hours or 72hours further can be extended to blastosyststage. Preparations are made for embryo transfer.