Fertility Treatments Quick Guide

There are several different fertility treatments available and a treatment that is suitable for one patient may not be suitable for another. Equally each treatment may provide a greater chance of success depending on a patient’s circumstances.

Here is a quick guide to the fertility treatments we currently offer here at RHG and when they are typically used:

IVF

What is IVF?

IVF treatment is the process by which eggs are retrieved from the ovaries and fertilised with sperm to create embryos. At the optimum time, the embryos are replaced back into the womb to hopefully form a successful pregnancy.

When would IVF typically be used?

  • The patient has been diagnosed with unexplained infertility
  • The patient may have blocked fallopian tubes
  • A male partners fertility problems are not severe enough to warrant ICSI treatment
  • Fertility drugs or IUI treatment were not successful
  • Frozen sperm is being used
  • Frozen eggs or donated eggs are being used

ICSI

What is ICSI?

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment is used in nearly half of all IVF treatments and the most successful form of treatment for men who are infertile. ICSI differs from IVF in that the embryologist selects a single sperm to be injected directly into an egg, bypassing the natural fertilisation process.

When would ICSI typically be used?

ICSI is typically used when there is a problem or potential problem with the sperm to be used in an IVF cycle. It may be used in cases of:

  • Abnormal sperm parameters (low sperm count, low sperm morphology and/or motility)
  • Previous history of failed fertilisation with conventional IVF
  • Previous history of abnormal fertilisation as it occurs in cases of gestational trophoblastic disease
  • Sperm which has been surgically retrieved

IMSI

What is IMSI?

Similar to ICSI, IMSI (intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm) treatment also involves inserting sperm directly into the egg, the only difference between the two procedures being the way that the sperm is selected. A high powered lens is used to observe the sperm in greater detail with the aim of improving the chance of pregnancy. The IMSI microscope can magnify up to 6000 times allowing the embryologist to see potential abnormalities in the head of the sperm.

When would IMSI typically be used?

  • A high number of abnormal sperm are found in a semen analysis
  • Repeated unsuccessful ICSI cycles
  • History of recurrent miscarriages
  • Poor quality embryos formed in previous cycles

IUI

What is IUI?

IUI (intrauterine insemination) is a relatively simple treatment which involves inserting prepared sperm into the uterus around the time of ovulation. The sperm is prepared by separating fast moving sperm from more sluggish sperm to ensure the best quality sperm is inserted. IUI can be performed with either a male partner’s sperm or donor sperm.

When would IUI typically be used?

IUI may be used in the following circumstances:

  • Couples who have been trying for less than 2 years with no specific fertility issue.
  • Couples who have problems with sex such as impotence, premature ejaculation, vaginismus etc.
  • Couples in whom the woman’s cervical mucus is altered in amount and texture for the sperm to pass through.
  • Where the woman has mild/ minimal endometriosis.
  • Women undergoing insemination with donor sperm.